Monday, May 31, 2010
England again hit by a cyclone called Tamim Iqbal
Cyclone isn't something that is going to cause mass destruction only once, but can strike again and again due to winds blowing around a central area of low atmospheric pressure. Over the years, Bangladesh has seen cyclones cause mass destruction. Now, let us not get deeply into meteorology, but if I think about yesterday's play between England and Bangladesh, a different sort of cyclone was seen at Lords as it rained fours and sixes from Tamim Iqbal's bat with England's fielders and bowlers running for cover. Just like wind blowing at a high speed in cyclone, here too the ball went at the speed of knots from Tamim's bat! It was no doubt a fantastic knock and it made even better that he played the knock with the team being in a a spot of bother as they were made to follow on.
Tamim Iqbal has a uncomplicated style of batting as if it is short, he would look to pull, or cut it and if it is fuller in length, he would look to play the drive. Yes, he plays on the up and doesn't have much footwork, but has a great eye and succeeds more often than not, so why should he change his style of batting, especially with wickets being batsmen friendly?
Yesterday's knock was no doubt a delight to watch as he played aggressively against the new ball and when Swann came into the attack, he was taken to the cleaners. Swann is arguably one of the best bowlers going around against the lefthanders, but Tamim negated his threat by playing some great slog sweeps and used his feet well as he made Swann look innocuous. He didn't spare the quicker bowlers either as they were also smashed all over the park.I really love the pull shot that he plays against the quicker bowler on one leg. It is a bit reminiscent of what I saw of the former Westindian great Greenidge on a highlights package sometime ago. Tamim must be cloud nine as not many get the chance to score a hundred at Lords. Players of the calibre of Tendulkar and Gavaskar haven't scored a hundred at Lords!
Another good sign for Bangladesh was, it wasn't just one batsman who did well as Junaid, Jaharul and Kayes all played well. Kayes doesn't have the talent of Tamim and to be frank, before this match he looked a misfit in test cricket, but credit has to go to him for doing well in this test. He made use of whatever little height he has by standing upright and not looking to take on the short ball which clearly has been his weakness. in the end, he got out for 75 to a short ball, but gave very good support to Tamim. Junaid has already shown in Bangladesh that he is a gutsy player, who can play long innings. Yesterday, too he stood upright and showed good judgment against the short ball. Yes, his tendency to come half forward leaves him vulnerable against the short ball, but he more than makes it up by not taking his eye off the ball and plays with soft hands. He has already got a half century in this innings and for Bangladesh to draw the match, he needs to get a big score. The efforts of Tamim, Junaid, Kayes and Jaharul has meant that they have a realistic chance of drawing the match.
As far as England's bowling were concerned, I felt that they weren't exactly on the money, but it has to be said that with the sun coming out, the wicket became flat.
Anyway my views on England's bowlers
Finn- He continues to impress me as he came hard at the batsmen on a flat deck and of course, his ability to bowl a fuller length would always help him. He has a wise head on his young shoulders.
Anderson- Late in the day he bowled reasonably well with the old ball and bowled a incisive spell with the new ball. He was perhaps unlucky not to get more than one wicket as Junaid was lucky to survive a lifter. More than anything else, I liked the fact that he didn't look down and out and bowled a very good spell late in the day.
Bresnan- I felt that he bowled ok in Bangladesh and looked like a workhorse, but has gone back to his old ways as in this test match, he hasn't found his length and has been all over the place. If he wants to play more games for England, he has to show consistency.
Swann- The Lords pitch doesn't have anything in it for the spinners and the credit has to go to Tamim and co. for playing him well as usually he is very effective against lefthanders.
Finally Tamim's breathtaking display with the bat and good support from others has meant that Bangladesh have a real good chance of drawing the match, but they need to be careful of the first hour on the fifth day as Finn and Anderson would come hard at the batsmen and look for wickets with the brand new ball.