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Hameed born to play Test cricket: Boycott

Press AssociationPress Association 14/11/2016

Geoffrey Boycott has given a glowing assessment of England's latest opener Haseeb Hameed and revealed he is "flattered" by the Lancashire teenager's 'Baby Boycott' nickname.

England's struggles to find an opening partner for Alastair Cook following Andrew Strauss' retirement four years ago have been exhaustive, but Hameed seemed a natural fit in the drawn first Test against India in Rajkot.

The 19-year-old displayed remarkable maturity on his international debut - especially during a second innings of 82 in which he, at times, outshone the veteran Cook.

Indeed Boycott, a former England opener himself, believes Hameed's bow was as impressive as the England captain's against the same opposition in 2006.

In his column for the Daily Telegraph, Boycott said: "Hameed looks the part. The last time I saw an English youngster take to Test match cricket so comfortably and appear so composed, unfazed and at ease was his captain and opening partner Alastair Cook 10 years ago in Nagpur against India, where he made 60 and 104 not out.

"The kid is born for Test match cricket, like Cook."

Cook has gone on to become the first Englishman to go past 10,000 runs in Tests and registered his 30th century on Sunday, but Boycott is wary of placing similar expectations on Hameed's shoulders.

"People should not expect too much from him too soon. We have not seen him tested by short balls because there are hardly any genuine speedsters in county or Test cricket," Boycott added.

"He will have a few downs as well as plenty of success but none of us are the finished product when we start our international careers."

Hameed's technique was honed by his father showing him videos of Boycott while growing up and his patience at the crease in an age of skyrocketing strike-rates has been noted - and has undoubtedly contributed to his sobriquet.

Boycott added: "I am flattered that Hameed is known as 'Baby Boycott'. It is a compliment to me that his father showed him videos of me and wanted him to watch my technique.

"He is not a modern player. The modern player has grown up with crash, bang, wallop Twenty20 and having to play cricket's answer to baseball.

"This kid plays as if he could have played in my era on uncovered pitches because he seems to have the temperament, patience, concentration and technique."

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