Since the 128-run knock against England in the ICC Champions Trophy last year, Tamim Iqbal has scored 95, 0, 70, 23, 84 not out and 84. Despite having struck four fifties in his last six innings, the dashing left-hander has been unable to convert those into hundreds.
In the first game of the ongoing tri-series, Tamim remained unbeaten on 84 to help chase down Zimbabwe's 171 and followed up with another 84 in their second match, against Sri Lanka, where he had the opportunity to register his 10th ODI century but was out with 21 overs to spare.
With 40 fifties to nine hundreds in the one-day format, Tamim surely does not enjoy this statistic as it reflects his difficulty in converting half-centuries into full ones. More frustrating still, the 28-year-old has been dismissed on 95 three times and in the 80s five times.
Ahead of a training session in Mirpur yesterday, Tamim, with an eye on his 10th ton, expressed his disappointment at not being able to convert fifties into centuries, especially after having stuck consecutive fifty-plus scores in the series.
“It was not unlucky, really, in the second game as I started the innings quite slowly. But the positive thing to me is that I did not throw away my wicket as I was waiting for the right time and when the time came, I tried to capitalise by targeting a specific bowler. And when I needed to control, I batted in that way. Unfortunately it was a good ball. I paced my innings very well. So, I am happy that I did not throw my wicket away in second match.
“To be honest I also felt disappointed as I should have scored more centuries. But yes, I hope to take my centuries into double figures as quickly as I can. Double-figure ODI centuries obviously looks and sounds good. It's no pressure actually. Sometimes I feel disappointed that I should have scored more centuries as I have played over 170 games and scored 40 fifties. In that sense, I should have scored more centuries,” Tamim told reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.
The southpaw however informed that he will try to continue playing in the same manner and that he looks to stretch his time at the crease.
“I always try to play 30-40 balls early on and get set at the wicket and then try to make it bigger. No matter what position you bat, facing the first 20 balls is always difficult,” he added.
Asked whether there was any disappointment over how not one Bangladeshi player won an ICC award last year, Tamim replied: "Aside from the ICC awards, there were no Bangladeshi players in the best eleven list of even the newspapers. But after seeing how last year ended it is not that far, [the time] when we will also get awards. If you have noticed those who received the awards they have scored a lot of runs, be it in the best ODI or Test team. I am not saying that Shakib [Al Hasan] or Mushfiqur [Rahim] do not deserve the award but it is not far away when there will be three-four Bangladeshi players who will receive the awards."