Iqbal hoping to use red-hot form to lead Bangladesh into Champions Trophy semi-finals

“It is nice to score runs but, if my hundred helps win Bangladesh a game, it is a special feeling”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal has been in sublime form in the ongoing Champions Trophy, but his side are in a difficult situation when it comes to qualifying for the semi-finals.

Bangladesh lost their opening game against England, while their clash with Australia was washed out.

Knowing that his side need to win when they go up against New Zealand on Friday, Iqbal is hoping to maintain his momentum with the bat and help his side advance to the last four.

Doing so would mean so much for Bangladesh, who are currently ranked sixth on the ODI standings. However, Iqbal admits that personal achievements used to take precedence over team glory when his side were lower down on the rankings.

“When the team was not doing so well, four or five years ago, maybe this was the only happiness you got,” he said. “You are scoring runs. Now the team is doing well, we are ranked sixth in the world, when the team is not doing well, you don’t get the enjoyment like before. It is nice to score runs but, if my hundred helps win Bangladesh a game, it is a special feeling. People remember such knocks.”

While he is eager to see his team progress to the semi-finals, the 28-year-old conceded that he takes pride in his knocks of 128 and 95 against England and Australia respectively as they are his highest scores against both nations.

“They have the best attacks in the world and scoring against them in these conditions, which is very different to where I come from, it gives me a lot of confidence,” he said. “Next time I come here, I will have a better idea of how to handle these situations. From a personal point of view, I am quite satisfied with the way I am batting. Most importantly, we have an important game coming up so we are focusing on that.”

Iqbal has, to a large extent, been the only bright spot for Bangladesh when it comes to batting. But, the Chittagong native insists that other batsmen are capable of shouldering the responsibility.

“We have very skilful batsmen who haven’t fired yet,” he said. “They are all proven players. They will do it in the future. It is a matter of one innings. If a couple of guys start scoring in the next game, we are a very dangerous side.”

Iqbal added that his side are confident going into the clash with the Black Caps as they defeated them by five wickets in an ODI tri-series in Ireland on May 24.

“We have beaten their strongest team at home but maybe not so strong in Ireland,” Tamim said. “We have done well against them in the past but they have a strong unit. They have serious quality players. If we want to repeat the result again, we have to execute well.”

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