Virat Kohli is not human, says Bangladesh star Tamim

Virat Kohli is not human, says Bangladesh star Tamim
Tamim Iqbal at a Danube press conference in Dubai on Monday (Photo by Shihab)

Dubai - The Bangladesh Tigers, Tamim believes, have what takes to become a dominant force in cricket

By Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Mon 22 Oct 2018, 9:15 PM

Last updated: Tue 23 Oct 2018, 9:06 PM

March 17, 2007. It was a day Tamim Iqbal will never forget in his life.
After having inspired Bangladesh's stirring win over India in that World Cup game with a brilliant half-century, a 17-year-old Tamim was lost for words when Rahul Dravid gifted him a bat as a token of appreciation.
The then Indian captain also reportedly gave another bat to Tamim and asked him to give it to Mushfiqur Rahim - the other young hero of that historic Bangladesh win. 

Dravid may have suffered at the hands of those rising youngsters that day, but the affable Indian set an example of glorious human spirit.
Now Tamim and Mushfiqur have become two of the greatest players in Bangladesh history. 
And at a crunch moment during a recent Asia Cup game against Sri Lanka in Dubai, Tamim and Mushfiqur became a part of the cricket folklore when the former came out to bat with a fractured left wrist to help the latter score a memorable hundred.
Tamim, who became Danube's Bangladesh brand ambassador, said "that one ball" that he faced with one hand would always make his heart swell with pride.
"Playing for my country is my biggest pride. I thought facing one delivery could have helped Bangladesh get 5-10 extra runs in that game. And we ended up getting 32 runs because of Mushfiqur's brilliance," Tamim told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview on Monday. 
Tamim smiled when we told him what his captain Mashrafe Mortaza had said on the eve of Bangladesh's Asia Cup final against India. 
That his Asia Cup was won the moment an injured Tamim came out to bat.
"It's very nice of him to say that. Yes, I knew I was out of the tournament when I got hit in the first game and I got very emotional. So when Mushfiqur and the team needed me, I walked out again!"
Tamim, who played against legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis, could not stop admiring modern master Virat Kohli. 
"I sometimes feel he is not human because the way he performs, my goodness, the moment he comes out to bat, it looks like he is going to score a hundred every game," the Bangladesh opener said. 
"The way he looks after himself, the way he works on his game, it's unbelievable. He is probably the number one in all three formats. He is someone to watch and admire and also learn from. I think he has been fantastic.
"And I have seen all the great players that have played the game in the past 12 years. They have their own strong points. But I haven't seen anyone that has dominated as much as Virat has."

And like Virat, the Bangladesh Tigers, Tamim believes, have what takes to become a dominant force in cricket. 
"We have been playing some serious cricket in ODIs. We have been one of the best teams in the world. It was a big blow for sure when Shakib (Al Hasan) and myself got injured in the Asia Cup, but I think the way the boys responded in the tournament was really good," he said.
"That gives the message to everyone that our team is capable of playing well even without the two best players. We just need to keep on playing good cricket. 
"One thing we know for sure is that we have lot of room to improve. We haven't achieved what we have always dreamed of. We have just started to play well, so if we keep on working hard, and if we keep on chasing our dream, one day we will achieve it."
So when will Bangladesh's Sri Lanka-1996-like moment arrive?
"Cricket is an unpredictable game. If somebody has a great match, if somebody has a great tournament you can achieve a lot of things," said Tamim.
"I think especially for this World Cup, we have been preparing really seriously. We do have some tournaments coming up just before the World Cup. I think those tournaments will be very important because if you have a good series against the West Indies, New Zealand and then you go to the World Cup with a high momentum. 
"I think what we can do as players is give our best, try to score runs, take wickets. That's what we can do, sometimes luck doesn't go with you, but if everything clicks, you never know!"

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