By: Chinmay Vaidya
Tamim Iqbal has a mainstay at the top of Bangladesh’s batting lineup for his entire ODI career. The 29-year old lefty has opened the innings 180 times in one-day matches for Bangladesh and has produced gaudy numbers from that spot.
Iqbal is currently the all-time leading run scorer in all formats for Bangladesh, although his ODI mark is most likely to stand the test of time. By the time Iqbal finishes his career, he could be in the 10,000 ODI run club (If he plays 300 ODI innings at his current adjusted average, Iqbal will finish with 10,508 runs).
After Bangladesh’s surprising run to the semifinal of the 2017 Champions Trophy, the team’s current core seem ready to challenge for a World Cup title. Iqbal was in top form during the Champions Trophy run and luckily for Bangladesh, he’s showing no signs of slowing down as the 2019 World Cup draws closer.
In the ODI series win over the West Indies, Iqbal accounted for 35.5% of Bangladesh’s total runs. He scored two centuries and a 50 and paced the team to a series win. Over the last year, Iqbal has been on a tear. He’s scored 562 runs in nine innings with two centuries and four half-centuries. Granted, the level of competition isn’t what Bangladesh will see in an international tournament but Iqbal is putting away the bad teams.
Iqbal and Bangladesh’s first chance to build on this recent run will come in the Asia Cup next month. The team should be able to get out of the group stage and into the Super Four round. If Bangladesh can reach the final, it’ll be another sign of progress toward the ultimate goal of lifting the World Cup.