Haseeb Hameed might have looked a promising cricketer when he first stepped out in the middle donning the English Test kits but an injury at the early stage of his career and a dismal performance with the bat in subsequent domestic matches kept him out of contention from getting picked in the England team. But a half-century in the second innings for his county side Lancashire against Middlesex has given the much required “confidence” to the 20-year-old.
“It was nice to get that confidence and that feeling of having scored runs again,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“That second innings I gave myself the best chance to succeed and was determined to make it difficult for them to get me out, to go back to the basics,” he said. “Thankfully I could do that, and I was happy. The longer I spent out in the middle the better I felt. I was very happy with it,” he added.
Talking about his innings, Hameed insisted that “keeping things simple” was the key to success in this particular knock.
“Last year I had a good season and I guess when you are doing things well, there’s a nice rhythm and tempo to it, and you keep things simple. That’s what I tried to do this innings – I didn’t overthink things too much, I just focused on the things that I do well, the things that I did in the past – that one-ball focus, each ball as it comes. I’m glad I could execute the way I wanted,” Hameed said.
“You are always optimistic that the work you put in will come to fruition. This year it has taken longer for this to happen. I wouldn’t say I had doubts about when I would score runs again, it is just I have had to make sure I have continued to learn from those phases, from the down times,” added Haseeb.
Mentioning about the different formats, the youngster said that changing between them is challenging as the players need to play in a slightly different manner.
“It is challenging to change between the different formats. Although my game doesn’t change too much for white-ball cricket there is a slightly different skill set, you do take more risks and play in a slightly different manner, so definitely that’s been one of the learnings I’ve taken from this season.”
“Definitely that’s been one of the learnings I’ve taken so far from this season,” he said. “You hear a lot of successful sportspeople say that these tough times make you a better cricketer and a better person, and I feel like I have learned a lot about myself not only as a player, but as a person as well. Hopefully I can look back on the last few months and say ‘you know what, they have made me a better player than I would have been had things gone my way from the word go,” he added.
Haseeb talked about England batting coach Mark Ramprakash and the kind of learning he has been getting from the former cricketer.
“I had a really good session with Ramps and I enjoy working with him,” he said. “He told me ‘the game is in good order, all you need is one score’, so it gave me a lot of confidence to hear that from the England batting coach. That net was really good and being around the group was quite nice.
“Ramps is very confident in me understanding and knowing my game. He doesn’t try to tinker with it too much. I’m sure that, if there is something he thinks will benefit me, then he will tell me. In that instance there was nothing he told me, if anything he was just reassuring me and giving me the confidence that my game is in a good place so I could approach this game with confidence,” he said.