India v England: Hasseb Hameed reflects on a 'surreal' Test debut
Last Updated: 13/11/16 5:03pm
Haseeb Hameed says his Test debut for England was a "surreal" experience but one he thoroughly enjoyed as the first Test against India in Rajkot ended in a draw.
Hameed hit a classy 82 in England's second innings to help set-up a final-day victory push; the tourists ending four wickets short of a win.
"I really enjoyed it out there," said Hameed. "I was quite nervous in the first innings, but second time around I tried to just think of it as any other game.
"There was a challenge in front of us to try and set up the game, and thankfully it went all right.
"I felt more comfortable the longer I spent out in the middle, and I tried not to think about myself as an individual, but about what the team wanted and required me to do.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed to miss out on a century. But it was tougher to score freely this morning; it was turning a bit more, and the ball was reversing.
"It was another challenge, and I'm confident every single experience I have on this tour will make me a better player.
"I've seen a picture of the moment when I went through to my fifty and my dad was quite emotional, which is understandable.
"As proud and as happy as I am, I am sure they are just as proud and happy. Everything I experience, I think they experience tenfold more.
"Alastair Cook was giving a masterclass to me and the England under-19s 12 months ago, and he mentioned to me, who would have thought a year on we'd be stood together in the middle for England?
"It's quite surreal how quickly everything has happened, but I'm trying to take it all in my stride."
Cook (130) did himself go on to three figures, notching a 30th Test ton, and fifth in India, but it was his 19-year-old opening partner who he was full of praise for.
"It was a brilliant knock, absolutely fantastic," said Cook. "We've certainly found a batsman there, no doubt about it.
"I already thought he looked the real deal in the first innings, but then to go and play like that in the second was brilliant.
"We were batting under pressure in that second innings, and the way Hameed played helped hugely in our efforts to win the game today.
"We wanted to set them a score that they couldn't get so that the only two chances of a result were us to win or a draw. Right at the end though they just held on."
Watch live coverage from the second Test between India and England, from 3.30am on Thursday on Sky Sports 2 HD.