INTERVIEW: Haseeb Hameed on England Debut
Hameed taking things in his stride after England debut
19-year-old Lancashire batsman Haseeb Hameed says his England debut was “surreal” despite the nerves he felt when he went out to bat, as India held England to a draw in the first test of the series.
Hameed, only the second teenager to play for England since 1949, made an assured start to his international career with 31 in the first innings before reaching his maiden half-century in the second, making 82 as England made a late push for victory over a strong India side.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the Test Match Hameed reflected on the “surreal” nature of his test match introduction, but insists he felt at home on the big stage.
“I did enjoy it”, Hameed said. “I felt more comfortable the longer I was out there – I was a bit nervous in the first innings but second innings I felt that I got more immersed in the game and that took the nerves away. I just took it as any other game.”
Hameed admits that the thought of a maiden international century on his debut was weighing on his mind during the second innings, but he won’t dwell on it too much.
“I’d be lying if I said no [about being disappointed at falling short of a century], but I was also very aware that I couldn’t look too far ahead. It was more difficult to score freely, it started turning more. I’m confident that every experience I have out here will make me a better player.
“I tried to get involved a bit more in the game and not think about myself as an individual but try and think about what the team required me to do.”
The last year has been a remarkable one for the Lancashire youngster, scoring over 1500 first-class runs for the club on the way to his first England call-up – it was only this time last year that Hameed was in the England Under-19 squad, being coached by the current England captain.
“Cooky (Alastair Cook) mentioned at one point that who would have thought twelve months ago, when he was doing an Under-19 masterclass, that twelve months on we’d be stood together at short leg.
“It’s quite surreal to think how quickly things have happened, but I’m trying not to dwell on it too much and I’m trying to take things in my stride. I’m just trying to take things as they come and not look too far ahead.”
After being left out of England’s side for their two test matches against Bangladesh in October, Hameed said that the free time on the subcontinent helped him prepare for the pitches in Rajkot.
He said: “I took the time that I had not playing to go to the nets and work hard with Ramps (Mark Ramprakash, England’s batting coach) and I think that was very beneficial for us.
“It was very tough conditions out there and, speaking to a few of the lads, it was good to get their feedback on the wickets in this continent and how they learnt whilst batting out there. I took a lot out of that, and those extra preparations have helped me.”
Hameed and the rest of the England side face India in the second test on Thursday, when the series moves to Visakhapatnam on Thursday 17 November.
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