If We Can Play Like - Akram Khan's Shares Key Advice As Bangladesh Eye Historic Series Win in South Africa - EXCLUSIVE
Akram Khan in an exclusive interview with india.com spoke at length about Bangaldesh cricket team's recent success, the work done by his team behind the scenes and captain Tamim Iqbal's coming of age as a player.
Centurion: Former Bangladesh captain Akram Khan and currently the Director of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) shared a valuable piece of advice for his team ahead of the third and final ODI against South Africa being played at the SuperSport Park, Centurion on Wednesday. Bangladesh are on the brink of creating history after winning the first match of the ODI series which was also their first-ever win in the Rainbow Nation as the Proteas came back strongly in the second ODI to level the series.
"We haven't been able to play with our full squad for the past two years. Some key players were out due to injuries. We were heavily hit by Covid as there were hardly any matches to play. Keeping all these things in mind, I can say that we never really were full strength. Some young players have come up the ranks. Some players like Liton Das have been doing well off late. So this is possibly the first time we had a full strength squad to play against South Africa and more importantly, we played as a team because of which we have done well in the first match against South Africa," Akram Khan Bangladesh Cricketer Said.
"There were contributions from everyone. Four or five of our batters did really well. Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman were very good in the first match. Special mention for Shoriful Islam as well. So overall, a great team performance and we also have good reserve fast bowlers in the team which was not there before. I can say, we have worked very hard in the past of the couple years to be where we are as a team now. The important thing is to continue the hard work going forward," he further added.
With the series evenly poised, the 53-year-old former Bangladesh captain feels that the visitors have every chance of winning the series if they continue to play in similar fashion as they did in the first ODI of the series.
"If you look at the first match, the wicket was not good. Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das batted very patiently and showed intent at the top of the order. They played according to the situation. So took us through the difficult stages of the game and then the rest of the batters capitalised on the good start. Similarly, if we can play in the same fashion as a team we will do well in the series-decider. We are an experience side in the ODIs. You can say, that our Test team and our T20I team needs a bit of work but in ODIs we have some quality players. We have every chance to win the series," feels the former Bangladesh captain, who was one of the mainstays of the Bangladesh team back in the 1990s.
Talking about Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal, Akram said, "As a batter Tamim is top rated. To be playing 10-12 years of international cricket consistently is in itself a big achievement. He is also a very experienced player and day by day he is doing very well. With time, he will get even better. As a captain, he is improving every day and will do even better in times to come."