Bangladesh ‘has a lot to improve in ODI side,’ says Tamim – ESPNcricinfo

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Bangladesh’s ODI side needs to address a number of areas for improvement, according to captain Tamim Iqbal. Their streak of five consecutive series wins was broken by Zimbabwe, who chased down two challenging totals – 291 and 304 – in the first two ODIs, before collapsing in a 105-run loss. in the third game on Wednesday.

Tamim, who has been in charge of the team since January last year, said a loss against a lower team would sting a little more and hoped it would drive home the message of improvement in the squad.

“Talking about improvement is often boring, and it usually comes up when we’ve lost a game or a series,” Tamim said. “If we had lost to Australia or India, say [Virat] Kohli or [Steven] Smith had played such blows against us, we wouldn’t have really taken it to heart. They are top players. They are top teams. We didn’t have much to do. I am not belittling them. [Sikandar] Raza, [Regis] It came from and [Innocent] Kaia played incredibly well but it proved that we have a lot to improve in our ODI side.

“Ireland, who we play home and away next year, are also capable of doing similar things. But it doesn’t change the fact that we are a serious ODI team. We are a fantastic ODI team. We had a great run but the graph usually comes down. I will not blame the batters or the bowlers individually. We are not doing well as a unit, which includes planning and execution. There are many areas to work on to reach the top.”

Tamim said four centuries from Zimbabwe’s batsmen and none from Bangladesh separated the two teams. Zimbabwe was led by Raza’s twin centuries, with Kaia and Chakabva also hitting hundreds in the big chase. Tamim also praised Zimbabwe for winning the series despite playing with a depleted side.

“We couldn’t take our chances, they took their chance,” he said. “They didn’t have the best possible team. Two of their main fast bowlers were injured, and two batsmen didn’t play. Credit goes to Zimbabwe. Two men took the game away in the first two matches. We didn’t have hundreds, they had four . It was a big difference.”

Tamim said he was also not satisfied with his own performance, despite being one of the few batsmen who showed intent to score a big one quickly. He hit two half-centuries and was run out for 19 in the third match.

“Although I scored some runs, I am not happy at all,” he said. “It’s such a good wicket. You just have to tackle the first ten overs. So getting a 60 and a 50 wasn’t enough. It was the difference between the two teams. They had four hundred and we had none.”

Tamim believes that unless Bangladesh start scoring big like some of the better teams, they will struggle even on good battlegrounds like Harare. “It is one of our team targets to score 350, something we have not done before. The par score will be 300 in the World Cup in India. Except Mirpur and some places in India where you can win games with 260-270 , most places are 290-310. This is what is happening now. Soon you will see us trying to achieve what others are achieving.”

Bangladesh won the third ODI thanks mainly to Afif Hossain’s unbeaten 85 off 81 for which he batted with the tail in the death overs. But Tamim cautioned that the media should not label him in any way, which could affect his rhythm.

“Don’t give him names yet. It’s too early for him,” Tamim said. “He has a unique quality to take the game under pressure. He will do the same and sometimes come out, and then we will ask him.

“But I don’t want him to lose that quality, which is to dominate with the way he bats. It’s a fantastic quality to have. It’s still very early days for him, and I’m sure he will have a fantastic career, but it’s too early to name him.”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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