Tamim has failed to convert his starts into big scores this World Cup AFP

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal took a swipe at fans and critics for pointing fingers at skipper Mashrafee Mortaza's form in the ongoing World Cup. Mortaza had been criticized for his performance in the ongoing global event where he picked only one wicket during the 21 overs he's bowled so far in 2019 World Cup, conceding 149 runs.

Set to retire after the ongoing World Cup, Mortaza has had to face some recent heat because of his bowling form.

"It is important to see who is (criticizing) him," Tamim told reporters when asked about Mortaza on Tuesday. "People should think what he has done for the (development) of cricket during the last 15-16 years for two minutes before putting up their opinion."

"If we call him unfit than he is unfit for the last 10 years because his two legs were not totally fine during this time frame. Now we are taking it differently when something is going wrong. We are talking about someone who had literally brought us here. He deserves much more respect than what he is receiving. Many players go through ups and down in such a mega event. Even the champion team doesn't have eleven performing players in their squad. His leadership and being in the team are very important for other players," he said.

Tamim said that they are well aware that West Indies will come up with the short ball tactic that they have employed thus far. However, he added they must make sure not to lose the opportunity of punishing the bad balls that will also be provided by them on at regular intervals.

"We normally try to simulate in the nets what our opponents are likely to do. They usually target us with the short ball but they do the same against all sides in the first ten to 15 overs. They also give run-scoring opportunities. We have to prepare for both, that's why we are working hard in practice.

"We want to make sure it is not a surprise for us. We have an idea about their batsmen and bowlers, but I have noticed their different planning in the World Cup. It is not the same thing that we faced in Ireland or West Indies. They are focusing heavily on the short ball, but if you handle it well, there'll be opportunities to score runs."

Tamim also added that he was confident of getting back to form. In the three completed matches that Bangladesh have played in so far, Tamim has scores of 16, 24 and 19 - showing that he is getting himself off to a start, but not capitalising on the same.

"In the last three matches I started to play what was required in the first five to seven overs but somehow when everything was under control, I gave away my wickets and that was disappointing because usually it does not happen. I am hopeful if I can get a good start I will be able to do well," he summed up.