Notts Captain Steven Mullaney believes opener Haseeb Hameed can rekindle his Test career
Nottinghamshire captain Steven Mullaney believes opener Haseeb Hameed can rekindle his Test career after playing a key role in the county’s Division Two title triumph.
Thrown in at the deep end by England, who took him on tour to India in 2016 before his 20th birthday, Hameed had to return home with a broken finger after two half-centuries in three Tests, then suffered a prolonged loss of form and did not play Test cricket again until last summer.
Again he did well against India, but his Ashes tour last winter proved to be a chastening experience and he was dropped after six single-figure scores in a row.
But Mullaney thinks his fellow Lancastrian, now 25, can put that behind him after an outstanding 2022 season in domestic cricket, in which he was Nottinghamshire’s leading run scorer in the LV= Insurance County Championship with 1,235 runs at an average of 58.80, and captained their one-day team to the quarter-finals of the Royal London Cup.
“He just has a hunger to score runs,” Mullaney said after Hameed had posted scores of 114 - his fourth century of the season - and 49 not out as Nottinghamshire thrashed Durham at Trent Bridge to clinch the title.
“The way he goes about his business, he’s an unbelievable person and he deserves all the plaudits that come his way.
“The best thing about him is his dedication. He was out there practising on the last morning of the Durham game, even though we’d had our two innings and we’ve not got a bat again for six months. That’s testament to how hard he works.
“In the Tests he played last year, he was probably facing the two best attacks in the world, and though he struggled for runs in Australia he definitely wasn’t out of his depth.
“I’m convinced there is a Test batsman in there. He might have to do it again next season in Division One to put himself back in the reckoning, but he can be very proud of what he’s achieved this year.”
Nottinghamshire’s head coach, Peter Moores, whose presence was a key reason in Hameed’s decision to leave Lancashire for Trent Bridge in 2020, echoed Mullaney’s words about the impressive nature of his recovery this summer.
“Haseeb was one of the first players I spoke to after the players came off the field,” Moores said.
“I just wanted to congratulate him because he’s played so well this year - and all credit to him after last winter.
“What a tough experience that was. So huge credit to him for the way he has bounced back.”
Hameed’s ability to reset his focus, put his disappointment to one side and work to improve his game has particularly impressed Moores.
“He’s adjusted a few things technically, he scores at a much faster rate and learned from playing in all sorts of situations in games,” he said. “So well done to him.”