Lancashire youngster in Test debut

Hameed - dream debut
Hameed - dream debut
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Lancashire’s Haseeb Hameed is set to make his England Test debut against India in Rajkot tomorrow.

Captain Alastair Cook confirmed that the 19-year-old would become his latest opening partner at a press conference ahead of the first Test.

Ben Duckett, who partnered Cook during the recent 1-1 series draw against Bangladesh, is set to drop down to number four to make way for the young Lancashire batsman.

“Has is going to open the batting and Ben is going to bat at four,” Cook said.

“It’s unfortunate for Gary (Ballance). In his six Test matches back, he hasn’t quite scored the runs he would have liked to.

“It has given someone else an opportunity and it’s a very exciting day for a young guy who has impressed everyone so far on this trip.

“You often wonder with a 19-year-old coming on tour whether he will be overawed by it - and he hasn’t been at all.”

Cook also played down reports that he is considering his future as Test captain.

The 31-year-old is set to lead England for a record 54th time in the first Test, breaking Michael Atherton’s record as captain, during which time he has twice won the Ashes.

Cook suggested, however, in an interview with The Cricketer magazine that his appetite for the job may be diminishing, saying : “Deep down I don’t know how much longer I am going to carry on.

“It could be two months, it could be a year.

“I do look forward to the day when hopefully I can play a Test match as just a batter, there’s no doubt about that.

“If that happens I am going to really enjoy standing at first slip and being the bloke who makes suggestions to whoever’s in charge and not being the bloke who has to make the final decision.

“It makes me feel very satisfied that I’ve been able to do it for a long period of time and I’ve had a really good crack at it.

“There have been some tough moments and amazing moments and you can enjoy that success that little bit more because of what you go through as England captain.”

The game in Rajkot will be Cook’s 136th Test and he has amassed 10,688 runs.