England’s opening batsman Haseeb Hameed’s tour of India has ended with his captain Alastair Cook saying that the youngster needs to fly back to his country to have a surgery on his left hand.
The 19-year-old showed tough resistance at Mohali on the fourth day to come up with an unconquered knock of 59 from 156 balls but in the post-match presentation ceremony Cook confirmed that he needs a plate fitted to repair the damage done to his little finger.
“Unfortunately Haseeb has to go home. Showed a lot of character to come out and bat,” Cook said.
Initially the youngster was supposed to have an x-ray after the conclusion of the Third Test, but instead, it was done on the third day and the results were sent to England for assessment.
On Monday, the sparse crowd at Mohali were quite surprised when they saw Joe Root walking out with his captain Alastair Cook to open the innings.
One thought maybe, England’s main opener Hameed was being spared from facing the new ball but it wasn’t so. Even after England’s fourth wicket, there was no sign of the Lancashire youngster.
Hameed did not take the field throughout India’s 138.2-over first innings but because the injury on his left hand was an external blow, he would have been allowed to come and bat upfront.
During the first half of the third day Hameed underwent numerous net sessions to see how his finger was holding up but when England began their second innings after Tea, it was Root who stepped out with his captain to face the new ball.
However, this change wasn’t something very new as Cook and Root had opened together throughout the 2013 Ashes.
Hameed had a very good start to his Test career after being overlooked for the Test series against Bangladesh. He scored a wonderful 82 in the second of his debut Test at Rajkot and resisted for 144 balls in a lost cause in the second innings at Vizag.
With Hameed out of the Mumbai Test which begins on December 8, the tourists might consider roping in another batsman to the squad even though they have Ben Duckett. Duckett hasn’t been in the best of form recently and was dropped for the Mohali game in favour of Jos Buttler having made just 18 runs in three innings in the first two Test matches of the series.
Durham’s Keaton Jennings or Middlesex batter Nick Gubbins would be likely candidates for the spot along with Essex’s Tom Westley who can be another option.
Sam Billings too can be called to the side as the Kent wicketkeeper-batsman is known for being an excellent player of spin. But that would mean England would still have to have somebody else batting at the top since Billings isn’t an opener.
In the two Tests that Haseeb featured in, he has scored 151 runs at an average of 37.75 with the highest score of 82.