Haseeb Hameed says he can fit into England’s attacking Test cricket style under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum | Cricket News

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Haseeb Hameed feels he can fit into the attacking style of Test cricket that England are playing under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

The opening batter’s strike-rate in his 10 Tests to date is 32.02 and his previous defensive approach earned him the nickname ‘Baby Boycott’ in a nod to former England batter Sir Geoffrey Boycott.

However, Hameed’s strike-rate for Nottinghamshire in the County Championship last season was 62.40 and he says scoring more briskly has been his focus since being dropped by England after the 4-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia in 2021-22.

The 26-year-old, who will captain England Lions’ red-ball team in Sri Lanka later this month, said: “I came back from that Australia tour and was clear how I was going to go about my game: look to score runs at every opportunity and accept the fact that everyone gets out.

Nottinghamshire's Haseeb Hameed celebrates after reaching a century against Durham
Hameed scored four centuries and seven fifties for Nottinghamshire during the 2022 County Championship season

“We [England] went into our shells a bit. We got a bit defensive, a bit ‘survival mode’ and as a result we all suffered.

“Now it’s almost like, if in doubt you take the other option, you try and put the pressure back on them. You take the positive option and you’ll be backed for it.

Hameed: I have shown a new side of me

“That’s a key change in our cricket system in general. The interesting thing for me is it coincides with a similar shift that I’ve made at a similar time.

“You have your typical Test match opener, which is what I was trying to play like before, but there is also a side of me – which maybe a few more people have seen now – that enjoys hitting the ball.

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Michael Atherton says England’s ‘incredible transformation’ in Test cricket is down to taking on captain Ben Stokes’ aggressive and selfless characteristics

“Especially against some of the best bowlers in the world you’re going to face good balls that will get you out, so the other balls you may as well try to cash in, score runs and put the opposition under pressure.

“That is what I’ve tried to do. I took that into the season with Notts and it was a good season for me.

“The way I look at things, I had one bad tour but a lot of very, very good players have had one bad tour. Why can’t I get better? It’s happened, but it’s not the complete journey. I’m not 35, 36.

“I’ve got another 15 years of cricket left in me. I’m hoping a long period of that is playing international cricket for England, that has never changed.”

England have won nine of their 10 Tests since Stokes succeeded Joe Root as captain and Hameed says he will look top follow the senior skipper’s lead when he leads his country’s second string in Sri Lanka.

The former Lancashire batter added: “I’ll have my own style of course, but the brand that Stokesy and Co have implemented is now the England brand, whether you’re with the Lions or the Test side.

“This whole idea of playing to win and being prepared to lose the game in order to win, 100 per cent I’ll try to replicate that.”

England opener Alex Lees batting during the third Test against South Africa at the Kia Oval
Discarded Test opener Alex Lees is in England Lions’ red-ball squad for the Sri Lanka tour

England Lions tour of Sri Lanka

  • Three-day warm-up vs SLC Board XI (January 25-27)
  • First four-day Test Sri Lanka A (January 31-February 3)
  • First four-day Test Sri Lanka A (February 7-10)
  • First ODI vs Sri Lanka A (February 15)
  • Second ODI vs Sri Lanka A (February 18)
  • Third ODI vs Sri Lanka A (February 21)

England Lions Test squad

Haseeb Hameed (captain), Tom Abell, Josh Bohannon, Jack Carson, Sam Cook, Matt Fisher, Nathan Gilchrist, Tom Haines, Tom Hartley, Jack Haynes, Lyndon James, Alex Lees, Liam Patterson-White, Ollie Robinson, Jamie Smith, Josh Tongue

England Lions ODI squad

Tom Abell (captain), Tom Banton, Jacob Bethell, Brydon Carse, Sam Cook, Jordan Cox, Mason Crane, Matt Critchley, Matt Fisher, Sam Hain, Tom Hartley, Tom Lammonby, Saqib Mahmood, Tom Prest, James Rew, Luke Wood

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