England 'in awe' of new star Haseeb Hameed
Teenager flies home for operation, leaving batsman Keaton Jennings with a lot to live up to in India
England have called up batsman Keaton Jennings for the remainder of their tour of India after opener Haseeb Hameed flew home for an operation on a broken finger.
Jennings will have a lot to live up to after Haseeb's stellar introduction to Test cricket.
The Lancashire teenager scored two half-centuries in his first three Tests, but what impressed the pundits most was his temperament, technique and powers of concentration.
In what turned out to be his final innings of the tour, the injured opener was down the order as England attempted to save the game. At first he dug in to offer support to Joe Root and then went on the attack when other batsmen fell and he was joined by number 11 James Anderson.
It was a performance that left his team-mates "in awe", according to coach Trevor Bayliss.
Nick Hoult in the Daily Telegraph described Haseeb's brave knock as "one of the most courageous innings by an England batsman".
He added: "Hameed hit an unbeaten 59 batting for ten minutes short of three hours with the little finger of his left hand so badly broken that coach Trevor Bayliss described it as being in 'two pieces'. He only took two paracetamol tablets to help ease the pain and batted knowing another blow could result in a far more serious injury."
The 19-year-old player, England's youngest debutant since Ben Hollioake in 1997, spent the previous day in the nets learning how to bat with his injury.
Not only was it brave, it was the "latest demonstration of his remarkable talent", says Ali Martin of The Guardian, who reports that some of India's biggest players, including captain Virat Kohli, made a point of shaking the batsman's (uninjured) hand after his innings.
Martin adds: "Hameed will now fly home having faced more deliveries, 640, than any of his senior team-mates. Had they shown his application during their sorry first innings, they may not be staring at a series defeat. But with his 82 on debut in Rajkot, the stoic blocking in Visakhapatnam and Tuesday’s pain-defying innings, a star has been born."
Durham opener Jennings, who was the highest run scorer in the County Championship last season, will have his work cut out replacing Hameed.
The former South African Under-17 captain, who has chosen to represent England at senior level, joins the squad next month after playing for the England Lions in the United Arab Emirates this week.
Spinner Liam Dawson is also heading to India to replaces Zafar Ansari, the Surrey spinner who is flying home with a back injury.
However, Ansari is unlikely to be badly missed – he was dropped for the third Test after making little impact in the first two games of the series and before that in Bangladesh.