Dhaka, March 17 (IANS) Aggressive Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal feels his team is gradually getting closer to its target of making it to the cricket World Cup quarterfinals though it is yet to play at its best.
“We are gradually getting close to our target. We are yet to play our best cricket and there is a lot of room for improvement,” said Tamim, who will turn 23 Sunday, a day after the co-hosts play their last Group B match against formidable South Africa at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium here.
Upbeat about Bangladesh’s performance in the tournament, Tamim said when the team began its campaign it had set a target of beating Ireland and the Netherlands and one big team. “Winning three matches we thought would be par for the course and it would be great to win a fourth,” Tamim said virtually throwing a challenge to South Africa.
“We have already tied our target and if we win the fourth one it will be great. It will give us a winning momentum going in to the quarterfinals.”
Bangladesh are on five points, winning three games and losing two, and at fourth sport in the Group B points table.
If Bangladesh win Saturday, they will join South Africa in the last eight. If they lose, then also they can make the cut for the quarters provided England go down to the West Indies.
On the team’s morale, Tamim said: “It is not that the morale is at an
all-time high. But there is a good feeling among the boys and there is a good environment at the moment.”
“Everyone is wanting to do well and training very hard and trying to improve. The truth is all of us are a lot more hungry to do well. So it’s a fantastic environment.”
Taking heart from his team’s showing, Tamim said: “Even if Bangladesh does not make it to the quarterfinals it will not negate our performance so far. When we began our World Cup campaign we did not think of the run-rate.”
The left-hander, who has played 94 ODIs, scoring 2,792 runs at a strike rate of 79.90, said unlike other teams, Bangladesh rely more on team effort and not on individual brilliance.
“As a cricketer I had always felt that for a team like us we need contributions from four five of us to win a match. You will find in other teams that it is enough for just two or three of them to perform and they can win a match. But that’s not the case with us.”
On his own performance, Tamim said it has been decent. “If you look at my performance you will see that I have two 40s and one 70. That is not bad. This effort should be decent for any player.”
“But I have set myself such high standards that scoring 40s is a failure for me,” he added.