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by Saksham Mishra & Cricket World Friday 20 March 2020
Tamim Iqbal comes from a family of cricketers. He is the younger brother of Bangladesh international Nafis Iqbal Khan and nephew of former Bangladesh skipper Akram Khan. And, that he had got the right genes was evident from quite early on.
Batting for the Under-19s against England at the end of 2005, he smashed 112 from just 71 balls to help Bangladesh cruise to victory and showed a glimpse of what he would go on to achieve in the years to come. At just 18, he made his one-day debut against Zimbabwe in February 2007 and was included in the World Cup squad after playing just two matches.
12 years later, Tamim is the highest run-scorer for Bangladesh across formats. Iqbal is second on the all-time run-scoring list among Bangladesh batsmen in Test cricket where he follows Mushfiqur Rahim's tally of 4413 with his own of 4405 - just nine runs shy of overtaking the former skipper. With the best of 206, the opener has scored his runs at 38.64 with 9 centuries and 27 half-centuries.
He is leading the country's run charts in the one-day format. Tamim had scored 7202 ODI runs at 36.74 with 13 tons and 47 fifties. With back to back centuries in a recently-concluded series against Zimbabwe, Tamim is now well ahead of Shakib al Hasan, who has nine, on the century count.
Tamim had been facing significant criticism from the media for adopting a cautious approach to batting in limited overs cricket in recent times. The opener answered his critics with a blistering 158 off 138 deliveries in the second ODI of the series against Zimbabwe, taking the Tigers to a record 322/8 total.
This was also the highest individual score by a Bangladeshi in ODIs. Tamim broke his own record of 154 against the same opposition at Bulawayo in 2009. The batsman from Chittagong became the first to score 7,000 ODI runs for Bangladesh, registering his name in the history books. En route to the ton, Tamim also set the record for most fours in a single ODI innings for Bangladesh with 20, which he previously shared with Shahriar Nafees, as both had struck 17.
Just last month, with a mammoth score of 334 runs, Tamim broke the record of the highest first-class score ever in Bangladesh by any individual. He got past Sri Lankan batting legend, Kumar Sangakkara, who previously held the record with 319 runs in a Test match. This was also the highest score by a Bangladeshi player in first-class cricket. It was previously held by Raqibul Hasan, who in March of 2007, had scored 313 runs to etch the record to his name.
Some of the other highlights of Tamim's career include a stylish 84 in his debut Test, against New Zealand in Dunedin, his maiden century that came in 2009 against West Indies in St Vincent, an unbeaten 154 against Zimbabwe in ODIs and the memorable 103 at Lord's against England in May 2010.
Some of his relatively recent knocks encompass a mature 95 that helped Bangladesh overcome a stiff chase against Scotland in the 2015 World Cup, 82 in the second innings of Bangladesh's 100th Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo to help his side chase 191 for a famous win and two half-centuries that played a big role in Bangladesh getting their first win against Australia in red-ball cricket.
Tamim, who had been a bit out of sorts lately due to injury and some poor form, bounced back in the series against Zimbabwe. As he turns 31, he's showing no signs of slowing down.
©Cricket World 2020
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