England cricket is in a good place with regard to Test cricket. The squad is replete with match-winners, with the likes of Alastair Cook, Joe Root, James Anderson, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes all in good form that suggests they’re ready to move up a gear. The English team have traditionally been known to have solid openers… until now.
Never before has the opening spot alongside Cook looked more vulnerable than now. This means the competition to open the batting is on but the candidates just do not want to take it. This is the biggest opportunity for England’s youngest lions to show their worth, and what better timing for one young promising talent to step up. Enter Haseeb Hameed.
Haseeb Hameed has it all – A great temperament, superb stroke play, the ability to grind it out but all of that is found wanting when it comes to application. The greatest of players are able to apply themselves in the toughest conditions and Hameed knows this is one facet of his game that he needs to improve.
He’s still only 20 years of age and is still maturing mentally and physically. But if he knew any better, Hameed would himself admit that he needs to cement his spot at the top, as a better chance to do so will not present itself again.
Haseeb Hameed is regarded as one of England’s biggest hopes and he needs to believe in it too. It takes a special talent to be the youngest to open England’s batting. Mind you, that’s a new record in more than a century and a half, go figure.
Enough time on his hands:
Hameed made his debut against India and managed to make a gritty half-century in one of the most hostile environments in world cricket. He also has an otherworldly First Class record, with 4 centuries and twelve half centuries.
He is on the right track and will need a bit of guidance to get rid of remaining niggles in his game. Hameed’s track record deserves a chance to make it at the top for a more consistent period of time and only he can help himself get there. First thing on his agenda would be to get into that zone that helped him hit a fifty on debut. The next thing would be to take things one day at a time and realise that he has enough time on his hands to make a real difference at the top.
Cricket is replete with stories of young stars who started well and faded but Hameed doesn’t seem like one to get carried away by success.
It’s time to strike gold young man, because nobody else seems to be interested at the moment. Let’s hope Haseeb Hameed is a player who will don the coveted English whites for years to come and let’s hope that he believes in that too.
By Rohit Nair