Interview With : Tamim Iqbal, Bangladeshi cricketer
Updated on: 30 Jun 2016
Comparing two productive years may be a bit unfair, but do you still see a difference between 2010 and 2015? The year 2010 was a great one for me. In 2015, I knew what I was trying to achieve. I planned and I achieved. I wanted to score 1000 runs in all formats in 2015. My goal was to average 50-plus in Tests and ODIs, which I almost did. It was a more pleasing year, as a result.
Your masterpiece was the double-hundred in Khulna against Pakistan last year, where you also had a record-breaking opening partnership with Imrul Kayes. Bangladesh were in big trouble when you two went out to bat in the second innings. After Pakistan declared on 628, we knew it was going to be really hard for us to save that Test match. Even if it was the best wicket in the world, it would be hard. Imrul asked me, "What's the plan?" I said, "We will take them on."
It was the only way to get out of it. We can't defend, defend, defend and survive. We have to score runs and take them on. We played our shots and it was going to plan. When we reached 150 for no loss, we started to believe. I thought, "Shit, everything is in our control. If we keep playing our way, nobody can take this away from us." We would have to give it away.
After I reached my hundred, I told Imrul that I had done my part. The only thing in my mind was to save the game. I started to think about my double-hundred. I was attacking constantly. There were times when we faced difficulties against a particular bowler. He asked me, "Can you handle him?" I did. I got very nervous in the last over of the day. I went to him and said, "Can you handle this over, by not taking a single?" So he helped me.
There were a lot of emotions and stories in that partnership. Imrul was also keeping wicket though he wasn't a [regular] keeper, and he did so for a long time in that game. We had a very good ODI series where I scored two hundreds. Imrul came in and saw a team high on confidence.
There were also two hundreds in the ODI series against Pakistan. The first ODI hundred was more important for me because I was struggling leading up to the series. The World Cup wasn't my best tournament. There was a lot of talk about my selection. After getting a hundred, I was relaxed. Before the hundred, I was too focused on scoring runs.
So this innings helped me relax and it led to the double-hundred. We were happy as a team, which enabled us to achieve a lot of things.
One of those happy moments was batting with Soumya Sarkar in the third ODI against Pakistan. You were smiling and laughing during that partnership.