England’s Haseeb Hameed rewarded for hard yards in County Championship

England opener Haseeb Hameed has forced himself back into England's Test squad, with consistent runs in the County Championship.

A comeback for the ages

After nearly 5 years out of the international game, England’s Haseeb Hameed has managed to win back a place in the most prestigious cricket squad in the country. Albeit, in a freaky way – Ben Foakes slipped in the dressing room and recently tore his hamstring, having to be withdrawn from the Test squad.

Interestingly, his Test match record is superior to his First Class record. Hameed averages 44 with the bat in Test Cricket and only 33 in First Class Cricket. This perhaps might have something to do with the fact that he played all three Tests on the subcontinent, where the pitches were flat and began to spin later on in the game. Hence, opening the batting was the best time to be out in the middle.

Contrastingly, the pitches in the County Championship tend to have considerable “Juice” in them. This holds especially true early on in the season. This means that they are conducive to swing and seam bowling and run-scoring becomes difficult in various locations throughout Great Britain.

Where will he fit in?

It is unlikely that he will open the batting in the first XI – Hameed will probably remain a stand-by opener, in case of any injuries or loss of form, having rediscovered his faith and ability.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – APRIL 15: Haseeb Hameed of Nottinghamshire plays the ball during the LV=Insurance County Championship match between Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire at Trent Bridge on April 15, 2021 in Nottingham, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Dom Sibley and Rory Burns have established themselves as England’s first choice opening batsmen and Zak Crawley also has the versatility to either open the batting or play in the middle-order. However, England’s Haseeb Hameed will be thrilled to be picked in the squad regardless.

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What the selectors said

England chief selector, Ashley Giles commented that “Haseeb Hameed has come back strong in order to earn his Test match call-up.”first

He went further to add that “He is a high-quality player but sometimes coming into the England system can shock them a bit. He’s shown the career, despite struggling and now is within our squad.”

Indeed, England’s Haseeb Hameed has been excellent this season. He has scored two half-centuries and two centuries in the County Championship. He has a bright future ahead, should he continue to perform at such heights.

Hameed made his debut in his teens and is currently just 24 years of age. Ideally, he would want to feed off the experienced English batsmen and use the knowledge to improve his game further. Given that he has looked good on the subcontinent and both Burns and Sibley have struggled in Asia, Hameed could cement his place long-term. He just needs to be consistent in scoring runs.

 

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