Tigers can dream big with Tamim at the helm
When Tamim Iqbal replaced Mashrafe Bin Mortaza as the ODI captain of Bangladesh back in 2020, there were concerns whether the Tigers would be able to continue on the upward trajectory in their preferred format under new leadership.
With Mashrafe stepping down after recording 50 wins in the format as the skipper, Tamim sure had big shoes to fill. For someone like Tamim, who had always shied away from leadership roles, the task was even steeper considering the legacy left behind by a charismatic leader like Mashrafe.
Owing to the outbreak of coronavirus, Tamim had to wait almost over a year before officially beginning his journey. And that probably worked in the left-hander's favour as he had time to ponder on ways he would like to lead the Tigers. As things stand now, Tamim seems to have done his homework right.
Refining the squad ahead of the next fifty-over World Cup in 2023 has always been a part of Tamim's long-term plan. Considering that, the 33-year-old definitely seems to be headed the right way.
Under Tamim's captaincy, Bangladesh have already won six out of seven series.
Since taking over as the captain in 2021, Tamim has led Bangladesh to 14 wins in 20 matches. Among the ones who led Bangladesh in ODIs, Tamim also boasts the highest win percentage (70.00).
Tamim had a splendid start as the Tigers whitewashed West Indies in a three-match series at home in his very first assignment as the captain of the side. Bangladesh went on to lose 3-0 in a tough away tour to New Zealand, but that has been the only blemish in Tamim's record so far.
Bangladesh have won four series on the trot since then -- away to Zimbabwe, at home against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka before sealing a maiden ODI series win away to South Africa. Under the southpaw's leadership, Bangladesh were even on top of the ICC ODI Super League table for a while.
"If we win one or two [matches], we will probably qualify for the World Cup. [But] it is not my target. My personal target as a captain is to finish in the top four. If you want to claim that you have come to win the 2023 World Cup, it wouldn't make sense if you qualify as the seventh or eighth team," Tamim had said after the Afghanistan series earlier this year.
There were also concerns whether the added responsibility would hinder the left-hander's form with the willow. But the elegant left-hander has managed to brush off those concerns as well.
In the 19 ODIs since taking over as the captain, Tamim has scored 657 runs, averaging over 36 which is quite similar to his overall ODI career average.
His aggressive captaincy and ability to read the situation also garnered a lot of praise. More importantly, like a true leader, Tamim remained vocal and led from the front whenever the team needed.
Although Tamim and Bangladesh still have a long way to go, the Tigers are surely heading in the right direction and can dream to achieve big in the coming days.