Fearless Tamim aims to keep his hot streak going

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The Independent Online

If anything will persuade the good cricketing folk of Lancashire through the gates of Old Trafford in the next few days it may be the exotic, brutal talents of Tamim Iqbal. He is one of those batsmen who carries an air of menace about him permanently.

Not for Tamim the niceties of assessing the bowling or of indulging in the practice of playing himself in. If batsmen had blocks, Tamim would explode out of them. Sometimes the starts would be false because of the risk factor but lately against England he has been irrepressible.

In his hometown of Chittagong he scored 86 from 124 balls; in Dhaka 85 from 71 and 52 from 84 and then at Lord's last week 55 from 62 and, holy of holies, 103 from 100. He has passed fifty in eight of his 11 Test innings. This is no fluke.

Tamim is 21, has been granted licence to play with unfettered freedom and is completely confident about his place in the game and how he plays it. He knows he is good.

"When I started playing Test cricket I was in two minds whether to go slow or go fast and originally I decided to go slow," he said. "And it was not working for me so the first 10 Tests were not good, I think I only got two fifties. If I don't score that's fine with me because I want to play like this."

Any fears that Tamim would miss the second Test due to the hand injury that afflicted him at Lord's have receded. Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said: "We've still got an issue with Tamim – it's the hand and a little bit of another area but he's promised me he'll be fine for tomorrow. Hopefully he'll get on with it."