Friday, 27 May, 2022

Tamim no longer to play T20Is: Mahmud

Stats show he’s still the best in the country

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 25 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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Tamim no longer to play T20Is: Mahmud
Bangladesh ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal talks to Bangladesh team director Khaled Mahmud after the Bangabandhu BPL T20 game between Minister Group Dhaka and Fortune Barishal at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Monday. – TANVIN TAMIM

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Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal is adamant not to play T20 internationals, said the Tigers’ team director Khaled Mahmud on Monday.

“I’ve spoken with him (Tamim) today. What I understand is that he’s not willing to continue T20Is. If that’s the case, there is no point of forcing someone,” Mahmud told The Daily Sun.

Mahmud earlier informed that he would talk with Tamim regarding his T20I plan after the game between Minister Dhaka and Fortune Barishal.

The BCB President Nazmul Hassan Papon disclosed that the opener is not interested to play T20 internationals anymore.

Mahmud made an attempt to change Tamim’s mind on Monday after their game against Dhaka as he discussed the matter with the opener for a couple of minutes at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.  However, his attempt went in vain.

Mahmud claimed that he didn’t agree with the critics suggesting Tamim’s slow batting approach was a problem in the national T20 team dressing room as he felt he’s still the best available option around with the others not yet ready to replace him at the opening position.

“To be honest he’s still the best option around and there is no one ready in the top-order like him (Tamim),” Mahmud said.

Tamim last played a T20I against Zimbabwe in Mirpur on March 9, 2020, and had been struggling with his fitness for quite a long time.

He withdrew his name from the last T20 World Cup squad despite coming close to getting back his fitness.

He insisted that time those who played regularly in this format should be included in the squad ahead of him.

Many suggested Tamim stop playing T20 cricket for his below-average strike-rate and to focus on ODIs and Tests but statistics don’t suggest the same. Tamim’s average (26.22) and strike rate (121.33) in 18 Twenty20 matches played since 2018 is higher than his entire career figures (78 matches with an average of 24.08 and strike rate 116.96).

In the absence of Tamim, Bangladesh have played 28 T20Is since March 11, 2020, where Mohammad Naim opened most of the time (27 matches) for Bangladesh.

Naim opened with Liton Das most of the time (14 innings) during that time while Soumya Sarkar paired up with Naim in eight innings.

However, the average and the strike-rate of these three openers went down by the time than their full T20I career figures.

In his 32-match career, Naim has an average of 25.61 with a 105.02 strike-rate but in the last 27 matches, his average was 23.38 with a strike rate of 100.16.

Liton who played in different positions in 18 matches, has averaged 16.75 and his strike-rate was 101.90 which is less than his 46-match career (19.18 and 122.49).

Meanwhile, Soumya played 66 matches so far with an average of 18.03 and the strike rate of 122.15 but it was 16.93 and 112.91 in the last 18 matches when he batted in different batting positions.

Bangladesh’s top three star batters’ batting was also below par in the last two years in the absence of Tamim.

Although Mushfiqur Rahim had a strike rate of 115.35 in his 99-match career, it came down to 90.59 in 14 matches he played since March 11, 2020.

At the same time, Shakib Al Hasan played 18 matches with a strike rate of 106.86 which was much lower than his 94-match career (120.48).

Mahmudullah, who played 113 matches, had an average of 23.61 and strike rate of 105.30 in the last 27 matches and it was also lower than his career figures (24.03 and 117.88).