India v England: Haseeb Hameed to make England debut in first Test

Source: BBC

Teenage opener Haseeb Hameed will make his England debut against India in the opening Test in Rajkot on Wednesday.

The match will go ahead despite the Board of Control for Cricket in India threatening to cancel the match over a financial dispute with the courts.

Lancashire batsman Hameed, 19, will become only the second teenager to play Test cricket for England since 1949.

Ben Duckett, who opened in the recent Test series against Bangladesh, will replace Gary Ballance at four.

“We have all been hugely impressed with the way Haseeb has gone about his business on this tour. Nothing seems to faze him,” said captain Alastair Cook.

Hameed, who scored 1,129 runs at an average of 52 in County Championship Division One this summer, was called up for the Test tour of Bangladesh in October but did not play in the 1-1 series draw.

All-rounder Ben Hollioake, who was 19 when he played against Australia in 1997, is the only other teenager to appear in a Test for England since 18-year-old Brian Close made his debut in 1949.

Left-hander Ballance, 26, has been dropped after scoring only 24 runs in four innings in Bangladesh.

“I feel sorry for Gary,” said Cook. “They were tough conditions in Bangladesh and ultimately it’s about how many runs you score.

“I still think he’s a fine player and one who I think will play again for England and do well.”

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