Captain Cook heaps praise on Hameed

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Bat­ting sen­sa­tion Haseeb Hameed earned spe­cial praise yes­ter­day from his captain af­ter scor­ing the high­est runs by a teenager in Eng­land his­tory dur­ing the first Test against In­dia.

The 19-year-old Hameed smashed 82 off 177 balls to record the high­est Test score by a teenager for Eng­land, beat­ing Jack Craw­ford’s 74 in Cape Town in 1906.

The young­ster hit seven fours and a six dur­ing his 235-minute stay at the wicket and also shared 180 runs for the open­ing stand with skip­per Alastair Cook who made 130. Their stand saw Eng­land take con­trol of the game and also helped them put the num­ber one Test side un­der pres­sure in the se­ries-opener which ended in a draw. “He’s an un­be­liev­able player. Push­ing me closer to re­tire­ment! He is only 19 years old and he outscored me,” Cook, 31, said.

“He’s a find for the game. We said be­fore the game we had no doubt he could play. He’s cer­tainly a good player.”

Ri­val captain Virat Kohli also could not help but ap­plaud Hameed on a con­fi­dent de­but. “He looks like a guy who has a strong char­ac­ter. He has a lot of be­lief in his game, as we saw (when he was) tak­ing on the spin­ners with the field up. “It’s pretty ex­cit­ing to see such a young guy come in to In­dia and show char­ac­ter.”

Hameed, watched by his In­dian-born fa­ther and fam­ily from the stands, had made a stylish 31 in the first in­nings.

He has been nick­named “Baby Boycott” for his un­flap­pable bat­ting style af­ter a pro­lific run in do­mes­tic matches back home.

Hameed’s re­mark­able de­but against In­dia also meant Eng­land may have found a long-term part­ner for Cook at the top of the bat­ting or­der. Cook has had nine dif­fer­ent part­ners since the re­tire­ment of An­drew Strauss four years ago.— AFP

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