It was not the kind of innings I ‘imagined myself playing’, says Tamim Iqbal

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

“In Test cricket you won’t be able to play your natural game all the time”

Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal, who scored 70 runs off 218 balls today, has admitted that it was not the kind of innings he imagined himself playing.

Iqbal, who is known as an aggressive opener, stated that he took a more calm and controlled approach to his innings since Bangladesh were on the “back foot”.

“We were on the back foot when we started the day so we had planned not to go for high-risk shots,” Iqbal said. “If I was able to complete the job then I would have been able to do my duty. But I have done a decent job for my team; this is what they hoped for from me.

“Mominul and I batted till tea. The type of innings I played I had not imagined myself playing. Usually when I am on 40-45 I take chances against spinners and reach the milestone. Today I picked singles, milestones weren’t on my mind. I batted for my team.”

However, Iqbal admitted that it was hard to adjust to taking things slower and stopping himself from playing some of his favourite strokes, like the slog sweep.

“It is hard of course,” he said. “I love playing shots. At one stage the offspinner was bowling and there was no deep midwicket; the slog sweep is a favourite shot of mine, but I controlled the urge.

“In Test cricket you won’t be able to play your natural game all the time. That was the situation, and maybe today I did the right thing. It feels good.”

The 24-year-old also lashed out at the media for having criticised him on missing out on yet another golden opportunity to score his first Test century in over three years.

“I did not think of any milestones today,” Iqbal said. “This innings was for the team. In the first innings I was disappointed not to get a hundred. But so much has been said about this issue that eventually it is me who is being harmed.

“You people should understand that. There is a limit to everything, but everyday whenever you meet me I hear ‘the century is not happening’. Who doesn’t want to score a century? You have to understand that cricket is a mental game. These questions are an extra pressure for me so I would request you not to ask me these kinds of questions.

“If I play aggressively everyone says you are aggressive, if I play slow everyone says you are slow, so you people tell me what I am supposed to do. This has gone to an extreme now–if I play normally you say I am too aggressive and if I play sedately you say I am slow. What’s wrong with you guys? Just let me play my game please. Let me play my game.”

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