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England’s Haseeb Hameed: ‘Those difficult moments toughen you up |

After some extreme highs and lows the opener is using those experiences – and his faith – on returning to the Test arena

It was the old-fashioned handshake that sealed it. Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns had just brought up their hundred partnership in the third Test against India and Hameed walked down the pitch and reached out his hand to the older man. In an age of fist bumps and other Covid-safe greetings, the celebration looked like an image from a newsreel. “Pretty old school,” says Hameed, laughing. “But then, I’ve always done it like that.”

Ain’t that the truth. The unique charm of the 24-year-old’s batting is the sense that it is being beamed to us from an earlier generation, which is why TV highlights could not capture the stylishness of his Headingley innings. Sure, they showed the boundaries. The musically timed upbeat of his foot movement that proved the anacrusis to a sweet-sounding square cut. The Root-ish glance, threaded through the gap between first and third slip like floss between incisors. And yet they failed to record the real beauties: the cultured, confident off-stump leaves, the expert and unstinting use of the forward defensive.

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