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New Zealand Series will define Tamim’s captaincy

Can Bangladesh rely on Tamim Iqbal's captaincy in the Bangladesh v Newzealand ODI series? Tamim will be facing the toughest battle of his short ODI captaincy career when taking on New Zealand away from home in late March 2021. Bangladesh will play 3 ODIs against the host New Zealand and failing to win at least a match will put Tamim under pressure with the margin of error being next to nil.

ODI Captaincy record of Bangladesh

Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu led Bangladesh’s first-ever ODI match against Pakistan on 31st March in 1986. Since then, Bangladesh have played 379 ODIs and out of those they won 131 and lost 241 matches.

So far, 14 Cricketers have Captained Bangladesh in ODI format. Masharfe Mortaza is the most successful one-day captain ever for Bangladesh. Under his captaincy, Bangladesh won fifty matches and he is the only skipper who has a more than 50% winning ratio. Current skipper Tamim Iqbal managed to win 3 matches in 6 matches.

How New Zealand Series will be an acid test for captain Tamim?

Tamim Iqbal was appointed as permanent ODI captain of Bangladesh in March last year (2020) following Mashrafe Mortaza’s retirement from the limited-overs captaincy role.

Tamim had to wait almost a year to lead the tiger’s national side due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus. After a long wait, the country’s most successful batsman started off the captaincy with a thumping 3-0 series victory over a second-tier Windies side in January this year.

Though the ODI series result was expected from the team Bangladesh. Therefore, Tamim's real test as a leader will be scrutinized during the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand. Getting positive results against New Zealand in their own backyard will be a difficult task for Bangladesh. Because team tigers lost all 26 matches, they played against the Blackcaps in New Zealand, out of those 13 were ODIs.

Bangladesh cricket fans are eagerly waiting for the series as we will be witnessing how Tamim Iqbal manages Bangladesh's limited-overs side away from home in a difficult condition.

This bilateral series will be a real acid test for Captain Tamim to gain trust from the Cricket Board as well as from the cricket lovers in general.

Tamim’s overall vision of the game, his batting approach being as a captain, how he delivers during the pressure situation, whether he is an aggressive or defensive-minded leader, his strategy or game plan all will be unveiled during the contest. So, this would be a very interesting series to judge his leadership skill.

Tamim needs to be patient and he should be given some time to get used to the role. We shouldn't jump into heavy criticism if he makes few mistakes while captaining the side.

What should be the ideal captaincy approach against New Zealand

Skipper Tamim’s leadership intelligence and understanding of the current situation will be under scrutiny depending upon the kind of playing XI he opts for during the series. But attacking mindset would be an ideal approach to push the Kiwis in the backfoot in their home field.

On the personal front, Tamim Iqbal himself would like to lead with the bat against a side that has bowlers like Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, and Tim Southee. He has some hard-hitters in the squad who can make a difference when needed.

While in bowling, Tamim needs to trust his faster bowlers and should use them properly as we all know New Zealand pitches heavily suits the faster bowlers.

Tamim Iqbal is confident to overcome a fear of the condition of New Zealand. “We know how tough the condition of New Zealand is for us. But it’s not impossible (to do well there). I hope we can achieve something there that we never had,” Tamim Iqbal said on Tuesday (February 23) before departing for New Zealand.

Why next (one) year will be crucial for Bangladesh's ODI side?

It’s still the early days of Tamim’s captaincy. The coming one year could well be a turnaround year in Bangladesh cricket. The tours to New Zealand, Zimbabwe, and the home series against England and Sri Lanka will define Tamim’s captaincy, and positive results in those series will give Bangladesh cricket added impetus.

This is not an ideal time to be a supporter of the team tigers as Bangladesh is going through a transition period. But the supporting staff and Bangladesh Cricket Board are trying hard to form a winnable set up for the national side. Above all, Bangladesh has a captain who is ready to play the anchor role to take the team forward.

Source: United News of Bangladesh