Tamim Iqbal will hold the key for Bangldesh at the top of the batting order and the team will depend on the experienced left-hander to make an impact in their upcoming two-match Test series in Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh have had a rough time since the resumption of international cricket after the Covid-19 pandemic halted the game and the Tigers are under tremendous pressure to put up better showings in the island nation.
Things started to unfold for Bangladesh, especially in Tests, following a 224-run humiliation against newest Test-playing nation Afghanistan, that too on home soil, in 2019. Bangladesh's dismal performance also resulted in a 2-0 whitewash at home against a relatively inexperienced West Indies side earlier this year.
Among the biggest reasons for those dismal performances in the longest format has been a failure in the batting department. To be more specific, a lack of consistency at the top order remains one of the major concerns for team management.
Bangladesh fielded five different partners alongside Tamim to open the innings in their last seven Tests but none appeared to be a settled option. It will be important for the dashing southpaw, who has developed into a world-class opening batsman over the years, to give his batting partner assurance as well.
However, Bangladesh's leading run-scorer across all formats will be looking to improve on some areas such as his conversion rate in regards to turning fifties into hundreds. With 28 fifties and nine hundred in 119 Test innings, Tamim generally scores a century once every four times he reaches a 50 in a Test and has even scored a double-century.
But, based on his calibre and the high standards that he sets among Bangladesh's batsmen, Tamim will definitely want to improve those stats. Since scoring his last hundred against New Zealand in Hamilton in 2019, Tamim reached fifty-plus runs three times. He also went past 40 twice and recorded one 30-plus knock in those 10 innings for Bangladesh.
It will be important for Tamim to utilise the starts that he has been able to get in the recent past, but the left-hander has shown an inability to adjust the tempo of his innings and at times has been unable to check his shots, costing his wicket.
Tamim will also be looking to improve his stats against Sri Lanka, against whom he is yet to score a hundred. In nine Tests against them, Tamim has scored 506 runs at an average of 28 with four fifties.
In the absence of two of the most experienced cricketers, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah Riyad, Tamim will have to shoulder the responsibility for a rather demoralised Tigers and lead the charge.
The 32-year-old can take heart from the fact that he was the man of the match during a win in Bangladesh's historic 100th Test in the island nation. However, it was also the only time Bangladesh managed to win a Test match against their Lankan counterparts since 2017.