HomeSportCricketBangladesh need to play more Tests — Iqbal

Bangladesh need to play more Tests — Iqbal

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DHAKA — Tamim Iqbal has said Bangladesh’s performance in the Asia Cup was a turning point in its cricket history, but his team could only carry such form into the five-day format if it played Test matches on a more regular basis. According to the Future Tours Programme, Bangladesh only play 42 Test matches until the end of 2020, with no tours of India and England.

Their next Test assignment is against Zimbabwe in August.

“That’s the main problem for Bangladesh,” Tamim (23) said.

“The moment we start to do well in Test match cricket, we get a year’s break or a 14-month break.
“If we want to really improve in Test match cricket, we need to play the format a lot more. You see us playing ODI (one-day international) cricket for quite some time and quite regularly, and the performance is changing. The world is seeing that Bangladesh is coming up. It’s the same with Test cricket.

“We need to play a lot of Test matches to improve, to gain confidence, to learn how to deal with situations and play session by session.”

Bangladesh have lost 63 of their 73 Tests, winning only three since their debut in 2000-01. They’ve had more success in ODIs and, most recently, almost won the Asia Cup, falling short by three runs in the final against Pakistan. They beat India and Sri Lanka en-route to that final, and ran Pakistan close both times they played.

“We have been playing international cricket for quite some time now and we needed something like this,” Tamim said.

“Scoring hundreds is a habit. Winning matches is a habit. Against India, we chased down 290.
Sometimes when the opposition teams batted first and got to around 300, if you are not habituated to chasing down those kind of runs you get confused. So, when you start doing it, you know what to do, how to go about it, make plans and how to bat.
“The more matches we’ll start to win, the better we’ll get. So, this was a great tournament for us because we chased in every single game and did very well. The boys will remember how we did it and take it forward.”

The Asia Cup was preceded by the inaugural edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). Tamim missed much of that tournament due to injury, but said it had an impact on the national team’s Asia Cup showing as the experience of playing with other international stars made its players more self-confident.

“In Bangladesh domestic cricket, you’re facing bowlers bowling at 125-130kmph, so sometimes it’s hard to adjust when playing international cricket.
“But here you’ve seen Shakib (Al Hasan) playing some unbelievable shots, which was rare for him. Mushfiqur (Rahim) played an unbelievable innings against India, hitting sixes. So they’re getting this kind of confidence from BPL.”
—ESPNcricinfo

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