‘Eng­land have now found an opener Cook can rely on’

Haseeb Hameed hits maiden Test fifty to earn praise from all quar­ters

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

‘He has stroked with pre­ci­sion and tim­ing. He looks like a proper player.’ – GE­OF­FREY BOY­COTT

Nick Comp­ton knows bet­ter than most the pres­sure that comes with open­ing the bat­ting for Eng­land af­ter his own dif­fi­cult spell at the top of the or­der.

Such is the strain the bats­man came un­der af­ter a poor run of form that Comp­ton is cur­rently tak­ing an in­def­i­nite break from the game.

The 33-year-old is there­fore in a bet­ter po­si­tion than most to com­ment on what it takes to ex­cel. And af­ter watch­ing Haseeb Hameed end the third day’s play on 62 not out against In­dia, Comp­ton feels Eng­land have found the per­fect part­ner for cap­tain Alas­tair Cook.

“Hameed very im­pres­sive – good tech­nique, some­one Cook can rely on to bat time and build solid foun­da­tions,” tweeted Comp­ton.

The ex­pe­ri­enced bats­man was not the only one im­pressed with debu­tant Hameed, who at just 19 years old is only the sixth teenager to play Test cricket for Eng­land.

“He has done ev­ery­thing, from be­ing able to de­fend sen­si­bly and then when he has looked to at­tack he has stroked with pre­ci­sion and tim­ing. He looks like a proper player,” com­mented for­mer Eng­land opener Ge­of­frey Boy­cott.

Adil Rashid, who helped dis­miss In­dia for 488 as he re­turned fig­ures of 4-114, was sim­i­larly full of praise for his young col­league.

“He’s a quiet boy but he works very hard, he’s very or­gan­ised and has had a good tem­per­a­ment,” said Rashid.

“He’s tricky to bowl at, he uses his feet a lot. He works very hard in the nets and it showed in the sec­ond in­nings.”

Bat­ting along­side his cap­tain, Hameed outscored Cook as he reached 62 from 116 balls, while his fel­low opener will start to­day on 46 not out.

Eng­land cur­rently lead by 163 runs af­ter reach­ing 114-0 at stumps yes­ter­day and will be look­ing for Cook and Hameed to pile the pres­sure on In­dia as they look to try and force a re­sult in Ra­jkot. Hameed will also be look­ing to break the record of De­nis Comp­ton by be­com­ing Eng­land’s youngest ever cen­tu­rion.

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