POST TIME: 26 August, 2018 01:08:42 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 26 August, 2018 08:14:08 AM
Incredible Kohli stirs Tamim to reach zenith
The opener all praise for India captain
Sports Reporter

Incredible Kohli stirs Tamim to reach zenith

Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal talks to reporter at BCB Academy ground in Mirpur last week. BCB Photo

“@imVkohli is unbelievable what a innings,” tweeted Tamim Iqbal after India captain Virat Kohli hit a fighting century against England in Trent Bridge, a one of the toughest condition, to help his side win the Test by 203 runs. Tamim’s tweet came as a surprise to the people who know him well as he was never so livid in Twitter handle, when it comes to praise one’s knock.

“I just can’t resist the temptation to tweet on him, it was such an amazing knock,” Tamim said yesterday as he was in short-break during a solo practice session at the National Academy Cricket Ground in Mirpur.

“It’s not my ego problem that I don’t tweet on someone’s knock. I just don’t do it actually, I never did it. But Virat’s knock was such special that I had to break the silence.”

“Normally I didn’t keep eye on TV continuously when I see the cricket game. I can’t do it at a stretch. I take break continuously and come again to keep my eye on TV. But on that Test, I saw every ball in TV without taking any break when Virat made 97 in the first innings and 103 in the second innings. He was class apart.”

Tamim said Kohli’s determination and hunger to score runs helped him conquer the English condition in which he went through a painful lean patch in 2014, scoring just 134 runs in 10 innings as English seamer James Anderson made him his bunny outside the off stump.

This time Kohli gave a befitting reply, already scoring 440 runs in six innings including two centuries and two half-centuries.

“He was just determined. There was massive pressure on him but he was just determined to survive at any cost and score runs. That sheer will made him outright successful in overcoming the English bowlers in the toughest condition. Just look how he survived the back of length deliveries what swung dangerously. I could remember that we couldn’t deal with those deliveries in West Indies in the Test series.”

Tamim’s tweet actually pronounced his liking over Kohli’s batting but very few knows he of late has adjusted with the food and fitness habit like the Indian captain.

Sacrificing the foot habit for the sake of career was specially tough for Tamim whose family is known for its love for food.

Tamim once said he was inspired by Kohli. “I admire what Virat Kohli is doing, I wish I can do what he's doing. I don't think I am near him as a professional athlete. If somebody in this sector has to idolise, he's the perfect idol.”

“Somehow because I was playing cricket and was away from home, that helped. If you see me in 2013-14, or through 2010-12, you will see a big change in what I was and what I am now. I got better at my fitness and food habits after the 2015 World Cup.”

The fitness regime and food habit was the reason that the batsman hardly faces any lean patch after 2015 World Cup. He remains as consistent as Kohli, at least in the ODI cricket in which he averaged almost 70 in the last three years. Tamim however couldn’t be consistent like Kohli in Test cricket but the true fact is Bangladesh don’t play as much Test cricket as India play.

However the way Kholi’s determination to score runs in any condition inspires him, it’s not far away that Tamim would emulate him in Test cricket also.

The change is visible in his approach also. When everyone is busy with having beef and other food to enjoy the holy Eid-ul-Azha, Tamim shortened his holiday, came back Dhaka and immediately got down on the field with coach Salahuddin. He practiced nearly four hours and time and again talked to Salahuddin to know his technical and other glitch.

He remains by far the technically best batsman in the country, by far the most consistent batsman and has been in red-hot form but still keeps him busy. The intention is clear: he wants more runs.