The last couple of days of the Lord's Test were all I managed to see, but it was enough to forcefully remind me of the talents of two young players of very similar ages, but vastly differing backgrounds and abilities.
Tamim Iqbal is the best batsman Bangladesh has produced in the decade since it became a Test-playing country. As an attacking Asian opener he will inevitably be compared to Sehwag, but as the pundits were saying yesterday, a more precise comparison, on account of his stature, his left-handedness and his penchant for the hook, would be with the late Roy Fredericks. Tamim is the player around whom Bangladesh can build their improving batting for a long time to come, but for the moment it'll be enough to for the rest of us to enjoy the brilliance of his strokeplay and the spontaneity of his celebrations, for there will be many more to come.
Steven Finn, of course, can really bowl. But the comparisons with Glenn McGrath which everyone seems to have been drawing seem to me to be the product of wishful thinking, based partly on Finn's self-professed admiration for him and the fact that Finn's so tantalisingly good. For me, a better comparison is with Finn's county coach Angus Fraser, although time will surely reveal Finn to have been the quicker and more penetrative operator.
Finn also comes across in interview as confident, mature and articulate, with the type of self-deprecation which is bound to endear him to English audiences. After receiving the match award this afternoon he said something about only filling in for Stuart Broad, and implied that he thought he might not be selected again in a hurry.
Steven, I've got news for you. This was only the start. You're going to be in the England side for a very, very, long time.
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