When Amit Mishra caught Haseeb Hameed on fourth ball of 59th over, roughly half an hour before Lunch, he must have felt like Darren Sammy, who caught Sachin Tendulkar in his last Test. He could not enjoy that. Mishra was confused whether to celebrate or atone for it. Why? Because he put an end to a quintessential homecoming of Hameed.
The 19-year-old was so close to a century on his Test debut but Mishra kept him at bay. More than Haseeb, it was his parents who were disappointed as they could not see his son elevating his bat, shunning the helmet in rejoice to enjoy the moment of scoring a century on Test debut at what can be called as his second home ground. Amit Mishra was the culprit; he caught a difficult chance to get him out. He had broken the heart of a wonder kid who had just started his career, had just set apart the hopes of his parents who were seated to see their son get his first century, he had broken the hearts of Hameed’s fans.
It was the second homecoming for Haseeb Hameed, whose parents were born here before migrating to England. They are regular visitors to this part of the country but this time it was something special which drove them here, not Haseeb’s debut but a marriage ceremony. It’s more than a mere coincidence that Haseeb was also making his debut here at his second home ground.
After playing an accountable knock of 31 in the first innings, the onus was on Haseeb to make this a memorable one for his parents and himself. To give a tribute to his father, who himself is a big admirer of Geoffrey Boycott.
Yes, he did by scoring a half-century in the second innings and then came the emotional moment. A nostalgic feeling followed, tears of joy followed as memories of a father bowling to young Hameed in the backyard might have crossed his mind. Have to say he controlled his emotions well.
It was a source of motivation for Haseeb but came with a responsibility to get a big one in the second innings. Moving ahead strongly, he was looking on the right track for a century before Mishra caught him but it’s not his fault folks.
On a pitch where Indian team were six down in 52.3 overs, Hameed and Cook alone batted for 58.4 overs without any troublesome. Captain Kohli was busy blaming the pitch for this ditch whereas Hameed showed him what Indian batsman lacked.
He had a lesson for every Indian batsman. Hameed showed what it needs on this pitch to bat on. Never in any way he looked uncomfortable.
He taught them how to play a defensive shot, he taught Rahane how to get on the back foot to play a cut, he taught Vijay how not to gave a dolly to short leg, he taught Saha how not to lose composure and taught captain Kohli how to stand against the odds to earn a name for yourself.
An admirer of Sachin Tendulkar, Haseeb became the 10th opening partner for Alastair Cook since the retirement of Andrew Strauss. England have high hopes of him so as his parents and not to forget his newbie fans. The youngster has already raised many eyebrows with his playing style and the key is to go on like this.
The battle for survival in international cricket will be hard but the more he’ll be grilled, the more he’ll grow.
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