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Tamim Iqbal has been in good form in the lead up to the Champions Trophy 2017
The 2017 edition in England will be Bangladeshs first Champions Trophy appearance in over ten years. Rapid strides over the last two years has earned them the qualification, and gradually respect. It is something that gives the team a lot pride.
Massive, says Tamim Iqbal about the confidence gained. This ranking did not come easy. We had to work really hard for it. All those hard work in the last two-three years has paid off. Thats really good but you need to keep improving. This (ICC Champions Trophy) is probably the best tournament to show the world how good you are.
We had to go through a lot of lost matches, hard work and criticism as well. But the last two years have been brilliant for Bangladesh cricket. Probably one of the most successful teams in the world if you see in the last two years. So we just need to carry on those things and keep on improving. We know one thing, that we need to improve a hell of a lot to be consistent in international cricket and beat good teams like India, England or Pakistan. We have to keep improving and thats what we are looking for, adds the opener.
With more wins, the team is also striving hard to do their preparations right. Most of the players in the squad haven had a taste of playing in English conditions before. So the team arrived more than a month early, much before any other team began their build-up for the tournament leaving Tamim fully satisfied in what theyve done to acclimatise.
We had a two-week camp in Sussex, a lovely camp. We had two practice games. This part (England), a lot of us haven toured. All youngsters and even us seniors, have come to England after 2010 which is seven years back. So we wanted to get used to the weather and conditions. We did pretty well there. And then we went to Ireland, Slightly different conditions there. We had a good tri-series there. I think preparation wise we are very well prepared. Its just about execution in the middle. We had quite a good first practice game against Pakistan and we have quite a big game tomorrow against India. If we have a good game tomorrow as well, I think well be fully prepared for the first match, he says.
Its a tough group that Bangladesh are placed in along with New Zealand, England and Australia. While they beat the first of the three as recently as the tri-series in Ireland, the other two teams in the group keeps Tamim a little apprehensive, because of unfamiliarity and some clear and present danger.
Australia and Bangladesh have hardly met each other in ODIs after the latter began their growth in the format. But Tamim doesn believe that gives his team an edge.
It can be both ways. If we had played them often, we would have known what they do and what they don and same goes to them as well. Last we played was 2011. Thats the second match. Well think about that after the first, he says.
That first one will be a big one as well, against hosts England. The last time these two teams met in an ICC event, Bangladesh knocked England out of the World Cup in 2015. But much has changed since then for the hosts and Tamim is aware of it.
Weve done well against them (England), thats true. But they are playing in their home conditions and they have some serious individual players as well. If we want to repeat the result (of the 2015 World Cup) again, we have to be in our top game in all departments because England is a very, very strong team, he concludes.
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