Barring a Glenn McGrath style step on the ball or an Alastair Cookesque vomiting session, Lancashire’s Nineteen-year-old opening batsman Haseeb Hameed will become England Test cricketer number 674 when the tourists take on India in the first of a five-match Test series in Rajkot (Another Test debutant) tomorrow.
With hindsight, or even without, England should probably have selected Hameed in Bangladesh instead of Gary Ballance with Ben Duckett batting at four. It’s slightly disappointing that on the back of his maiden Test fifty Duckett, having suggested he can provide England with David Warner type starts to innings now has to drop down the order. Though Duckett’s run scoring at the top of the order (For both Northamptonshire and England Lions) has been relentless this year, he has previously been more of a middle order option and in this terrain Hameed and Duckett’s qualities are hopefully now to be found in the appropriate location, Hameed as dour opener and Duckett in an adaptable middle order.
Let’s not forget Gary Ballance either. He is still on this tour and it will be a bitterly disappointing and frustrating time for him but if Delhi Belly runs riot through the England camp Ballance may yet still be required. If he is let’s hope that he can return to being the hundred hunter that he was when he first arrived in international cricket. Remember that the twenty-six-year-old was the third fastest to 1000 Test runs for England.
Back to Hameed and the alarmingly aptly named Duckett. Fingers crossed that neither of them get a mention on International Duck Watch in the upcoming days!