Captain Cook heaps praise on Hameed
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