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Tamim, Shakib on the eve of 50th Test
Bangladesh cricket team dashing opener Tamim Iqbal and number one all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan are going to play their 50th Test match in the first match of the two-match Test series against Australia at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in Mirpur.
“No particular number was in my mind during my Test debut but I had a target to serve Bangladesh as long as possible,” Tamim said while talking to journalists at a press conference before the Tigers practice sessions at SBNCS on Friday.
“However, it’s a nice matter to achieve that we (Tamim and Shakib Al Hasan) are going to play 50th Test match. If we can’t perform well or make a memorable result, then again it will be just a number,” the left handed batsman added.
The Tigers opener expressed his wish to give his best and also hoped that Shakib will also do so against Australia to make a good result.
Replying to a query, Tamim said, “In the beginning we were in doubt that, will it be possible to play 50 Test matches. But in the recent times, we are playing more Tests. So, it would be easy to set numbers for them who are going to make their Test debut now.”
After following the graph of Test match Bangladesh played in the last two years, Tamim hoped that they will play 6-7 Tests in the next year which is a positive sign for the team.
Tamim said Bangladesh need to work a lot to improve in the longest format.
“We always say that we need to improve a lot in this format and many things are need to improved. I think we have a year and a half to build ourselves as strong Test side,” he added.
Earlier on Thursday, Shakib also said almost same thing about the number of his 50th Test. “There was an excitement on my Test debut but I didn’t think of how many Tests I would play or be able to play.”
Shakib also said that he has no regret that he could not play more Test matches, having completed 10 years for his country in the longest version.
“I won’t say I regret how many Tests I have played. I would have felt better, if I had played more,” said Shakib.
Tamim, the highest Test scorer of Bangladesh team, collected 3677 runs at an average of 39.53 in 49 matches, making his debut in the longest version in January in 2008.
Coming up to the 50th, the world number one all-rounder across all formats of crickets, Shakib followed Tamim with 3479 runs at an average of 40.92.
The first Test (August 27-31) will be held at SBNCS in Dhaka while the 2nd one (September 4-8) at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.
As per the Future Tours Programme (FTP), Australia were scheduled to play two Tests and a tour match in Dhaka and Chittagong in October 2015, but the tour was postponed over security concerns.
Australia have not played in Bangladesh since Ricky Ponting's team toured here in April 2006 and outside major tournaments, the two nations have played just two ODI series against each other in Darwin (2008) and Dhaka (2011) since then.
Bangladesh squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Liton Kumar Das, Taskin Ahmed, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Mominul Haque.Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mohammad Saifuddin, Anamul Haque, Abul Hasan Raju, Al Amin Hossain, Nasir Hossain, Muktar Ali, Tanbir Haider, Saqlain Sajib and Shafiul Islam.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson and Matthew Wade.