HHH – Haseeb Hameed Hyperbole

I picked up a copy of the Evening Standard on the train this evening. On the back there was the repeating of a claim I’d heard already today that this was, in the view of Trevor Bayliss, the most complete performance he had seen from England in his time as coach. But it was when I flicked inside that my heart sunk.


Now people can say this about me and they might have a point. “Dmitri, if this cheeses you off that much, why don’t you try a sport that doesn’t?” Or you could say “Lord Canis Lupus, if you can’t get excited about a great new talent, why do you watch?” Or you could say Mark “surely a coach pumping up the tyres of a young kid isn’t that surprising, is it?”

I’ve been around the block a bit, and try not to get above myself when it comes to hype. I’ve not anointed Virat Kohli the new Tendulkar, Steve Smith as the new Border or Quentin de Kock as the new Gilchrist. Yet they have a more firm body of evidence than Haseeb. Yes, you can say that Haseeb is a young kid and surely you have to get excited, and believe me, I am. He seems a great lad, a great attitude and approach to the game, a beautiful temperament and very importantly for the sport in this country, a British-Asian batsman with what we hope is true staying power. But it’s so early in his career to be giving us this nonsense.

Bayliss, in the article, say Haseeb reminds him of Sangakkara in his love of batting., wanting to practice all the time etc. etc. Great. That’s not what the headline screams, is it? And even the most naive of media trained coaches must have known how this would be presented. Is there a big deal? No, not really, but English sport is littered with young sports stars who flamed out. Four England players made hundreds in this test match and Haseeb wasn’t one of them, but because we’ve been so desperate for an opener this strikes me as a little bit of over excitement. But I’ll say this once, and then hope it sticks. Judge Haseeb after a year. Judge him after this series, on more difficult surfaces than this on. Judge him on a home series against South Africa. Judge him on how he tackles an overseas Ashes series. We have time to see if the kid is the real deal, or if he gets worked out. We know he has the temperament, we can see that. Now let’s see if he is the package. Pumping tyres is all well and good, but if Bayliss really thought that of him, he’d have had him in the team at Chittagong, not at Rajkot. It looks daft, the headline looks daft, and we invite ridicule with this stuff.

It’s not a lot, but if you can’t see why I’m worried, people, you haven’t been paying attention. This England team, this set-up, over the years has chewed up great talent and spat it out. Sure, get excited, but keep your heads. Say nice things, of course. The lad deserves them. But keep some proportion, for heaven’s sake. Our press have built up enough to knock them down. Good luck HH!

I see George was saying this was the most entertaining England team he’s ever seen. Interesting. I’ve been clearing out a lot of stuff and came across the DVDs of the highlights from Adelaide 2010. So I put them on. I watched us bowl out the Aussies for very little, I watched Cook and Trott make hay, and then KP applying the coup de grace. That team would have murdered this one. And with the bat, which I care about the most it has to be said, they were really, really good to watch. Cook’s knock was magnificent – on the back of 235 – and well, KP was KP. Prior’s demolition of the demoralised was fun. I sometimes wonder if George takes the bowling dry thing too much as lacking entertainment. The MCG morning was certainly entertaining!

OK. Hope that explained my thinking, if you care!

Just thought I’d say that I’m reading Ian Chappell’s book at the moment. It makes me sad. Really sad. Chappelli absolutely raves about Sir Garfield Sobers. I hate the fact I’m in my late 40s and only just missed him makes me really sad. I wish I’d got to see him play, even as a childhood memory. But I don’t. I also went on a holiday 11 years ago where the previous year the star guest for the evening I went to was Sobers. I felt a little cheated to get “only” Joel Garner! The Chappell book is a good read so far, and I might do a review when I finish.

OK. That little ramble over, have a good night, and I’ll speak soon…


64 thoughts on “HHH – Haseeb Hameed Hyperbole

  1. Mark Nov 14, 2016 / 11:29 pm

    Funny all these so called experts didn’t spot his genius, and decided to play him in Bangladesh.

    I pity the kid. If anyone can screw him up its the English cricket media. At least “his card hasn’t been marked.” Yet.

    We know this because the vile English media have not been instructed to tell us by the management. Obviously his face fits, unlike a certain other new boy. What a way to run a circus!


  2. SimonH Nov 15, 2016 / 12:19 am

    Australia three more down in the first hour (waft by Khawaja, horrible change of mind by Voges, one kept low on Ferguson).

    Very much agreed with the sentiments on Sobers. I started watching in 1975 and count myself pretty luck with that timing – except missing Sobers by a year. When the TFT ran a feature of select an XI of players you wish you’d seen I’m sure I’m not the only one who went “Bradman and Sobers…. now who else?”.


    • Clivejw Nov 15, 2016 / 12:28 am

      That’s an interesting question. Of course, we would all have liked to have seen Bradman, but I wonder if he might have been coldly clinical, lacking the flair of Wally Hammond, say. Perhaps we would have the same attitude as many people have to Jaques Kallis. Sobers, no question.


    • SimonH Nov 15, 2016 / 12:29 am

      Two wickets in an over for Rabada.


      • SimonH Nov 15, 2016 / 12:44 am

        Rabada gets Smith just so he can’t be accused of only getting the lower order.

        “Shane Warne and Ian Healy to take over the commentary” at 151/8. Oh yes….

        Clivejw, I had Hammond at No.4! FTR Graeme Pollock was at No.5 (just edging out Dennis Compton) and the tricky decision was who opened with Hobbs.


      • SimonH Nov 15, 2016 / 1:10 am

        Saffers only the third time a team has won three consecutive series in Australia (England in the 1880s and West Indies in the 1980s the others)


      • SimonH Nov 15, 2016 / 1:39 pm

        Geoff Lemon on Australia’s batting collapses:


        Anyone watch the BT Sport highlights at the end of the last Test when they were sniggering in the studio at KP’s suggestion that this Australian team needs a major overhaul? It’s not looking so silly now – but it doesn’t pay to be right too soon.

        KP overstated it at 8 or 9 changes of course – but not by much. Australia have three players of high class in Warner, Smith and Starc who’d be in most people’s Current World XIs. Khawaja and Hazlewood are starting to stack up decent careers. That’s an opener, No.3, No.4 and two opening bowlers covered. You’d think that was the spine of a decent cricket team. It says something about how poor the rest have been.


      • SimonH Nov 15, 2016 / 1:55 pm

        Bowlers can’t average under 25 these days…… big bats……. attacking intent….. ramp shots….. reverse sweeps….. 30 is the new 25…..


      • quebecer Nov 16, 2016 / 4:07 pm

        The problem with Pietersen has always been that the things he’s said were actually kind of correct. But yes 8 or 9 changes… well, actually, He’s saying that Smith, Warner, and Starc are the real deal and that’s it. And I think he’s right. The thing about Hazelwood and Khwaja is that they’re good, but not great, and they are batting at #3 and opening the bowling. Batting at #5 and first change? Yes, then they are good players, but it’s a sign of the over all weakness that those two should be in the Voges/Mennie roles yet have to be pushed one more rung up the ladder.

        Again, thinking bout it this way backs up what Pietersen was getting at. Which Australians would get in a composite Aus/England XI right now? It’s really only their big three.


      • SimonH Nov 16, 2016 / 4:31 pm

        Points taken about Khawaja and Hazlewood. The trouble with dropping Khawaja down the order is that he’s weaker against spin. Hazlewood as first change? Not unreasonable. Hazlewood’s stats are very impressive (nearly 100 wickets at 26) but I can’t help but feel they flatter him. He seems to lack force of personality compared to what one normally thinks of with Aussie seamers.

        Wade for Nevill and O’Keefe for Lyon are two possibilities. I haven’t seen enough of the batting alternatives like Handscomb or Maddison to offer an opinion on them. And I know some would think me certifiable for saying it but I’d get Glenn Maxwell in at No.6 and give him an extended run to find the tempo of Test cricket.

        The team certainly has a soft underbelly that can’t seem to arrest collapses. SA’s top order batting failed in Hobart but Bavuma (playing the sort of attritional innings the media now all hate) and QDK bailed them out. Bairstow-Stokes-Ali have been doing it for England. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a completely different Nos.5-8 in Adelaide for Australia.

        And if they think things can’t get worse, they’re playing with fire the workload they’ve put on Starc and if he breaks down…..


  3. Clivejw Nov 15, 2016 / 12:23 am

    Hyperbole about a talented teenager is the least of the cricket media’s vices. It doesn’t actually matter, and wouldn’t it be boring if you could never make a claim based on gut instinct or enthusiasm?


  4. quebecer Nov 15, 2016 / 4:04 am

    Although in all fairness, in 1906 didn’t Pelham Warner insist Jack Crawford have a touch of Stanley Jackson about him?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. d'Arthez Nov 15, 2016 / 4:43 am

    Another collapse of 32/8. Fred will be wondering, when the members of the crowd will be having a bat, because they can hardly do much worse than the entire middle and lower-order. Sure, it was a good toss to win, and it may go some way to explain the game result, but it cannot explain two meek capitulations. In fact, blaming the toss would be a cop-out.

    Wonder what Jackson Bird makes of this – after all he was told he was not selected because his batting was not good enough.


      • fred Nov 15, 2016 / 5:13 pm

        Ha. Like the way KP eventually became “the South African-born Kevin Pietersen”.

        I’ve just remembered too that the bowling coach is Saker, you should poach him again.


  6. alan Nov 15, 2016 / 7:57 am

    I saw Gary Sobers bat for the West Indies at the Oval in 1963. He didn’t get many runs and I had to check Wisden to find that he was run out. I hadn’t remembered that but it was a very long time ago and I was only 14. But what I have always remembered about that day was the ease with which he batted, the time he seemed to have compared with the other batsmen,
    the seemingly effortless elegance of his every movement. I can still see him now.
    My only other vivid memory of that day is Fred Trueman turning and bowing to us overenthusiastic youngsters after we’d wildly cheered his practice run up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stevet Nov 15, 2016 / 4:37 pm

      I was lucky enough to watch Sir Garfield on his last international appearances in this country.. My first full summer of test cricket was 1973 with series against NZ and WI. Saw Sobers score a majestic 150 not out at Lord’s where we got a right royal stuffing (Kanhai also made a huge hundred, also remember there was a bombscare on the Saturday afternoon and Geoff Boycott being jostled by ahem over-exuberant West Indian supporters after he hooked the last ball of the day right down Kallicharran’s throat).Lost the series 2-0, end of career for Sobers, Kanhai and Gibbs. Sobers also took a couple magnificent catches at leg-slip.


  7. Clivejw Nov 15, 2016 / 8:48 am

    It’s so long since I read Mike Atherton, because of the Firewall, I forgot how good he is. Here he explains why he feels that Hameed is the real deal.

    I single out these two excerpts:

    When an England cricketer arrives on the scene for the first time, I follow the advice of a former coach of my acquaintance and move into Warren Buffet mode, imagining myself a potential shareholder in that player’s company. Do I want to own it, first of all? And if so, is it an investment for the long term, repaying me in solid dividends over time? Is it, in other words, a blue-chip stock or something more fanciful, liable to leave me naked when the tide goes out?

    Rather than balance sheets, rate of return on equity and debt, what I am looking for are three things: talent, obviously — a sense of instinct rather than someone who is over-coached; technique that will hold up under pressure; and temperament — an ability to learn, grow and adapt, and not be fazed. Added together, they underpin a sound buy.

    Rather than a need to pore for hours over spreadsheets, however, the decision whether to buy such a cricketing stock can often be a snap one, as it was most forcefully for me with Root. A few months after Nagpur, I met Root and the manner of his conversation — not deferential, challenging, curious and inquisitive — confirmed the immediate impression from a distance. From that moment on, I was long on Root Ltd.

    As a proud Lancastrian, no cap presentation has felt more meaningful. I recalled Cyril Washbrook, a legendary Lancashire and England opening batsman, who was president of Lancashire when I started. Giving Hameed his England cap, I felt I was passing on a legacy that stretches back generations. Washbrook, “Noddy” Pullar, David Lloyd, Graeme Fowler, myself: he will, I fancy, outscore us all.


      • Mark Nov 15, 2016 / 11:29 am

        Hey, leave me out of it!

        Nothing wrong with writing up a new player. But England have a dark history of pumping up certain players, and doing down others. And it seems to have nothing to do with ability but “right type of person.” What ever that means?

        It appears to be players who’s face fits, which means kissing Flower, Strauss and Cooks arse. The media are just useful idiots. They just reprint what is leaked to them. Someone told Selvey that Rashid had his card marked. Whoever did that in the England set up is a hypocrite to accuse us of being negative. You can’t get any more negative than leaking against your own players. That is a form of sporting treason.

        I seem to remember these same people getting very high and mighty when a certain player texted his opposition friends. How is that any worse than leaking against your own players to pompus, smarmy journalists?


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 15, 2016 / 11:41 am

          Mark! According to one of our fans they believe Mark might be one of us under another pseudonym. Hence the references.


      • Mark Nov 15, 2016 / 12:26 pm

        I’m none the wiser I am afraid Dmitri. Who is this Mark they speak of? And if it’s me, I can assure them I am one of us (outside cricket)

        I take it they think I am you, pretending to be me. Or something? It is a great compliment they are now reduced to crazy conspiracy theories.


  8. SimonH Nov 15, 2016 / 10:31 am

    I saw all of Hameed’s first innings and just boundary highlights of the second. It may be why I’m closer to LCL’s position than clivejw’s. I’d raise some points about this rush to judgment:

    1) The question of why he didn’t play in Bangladesh is an extremely curious one. I’m not sure I agree with LCL that it was because Bayliss had some doubts. The media were all full of “Hameed’s going to play” until 2-3 days before the First Test. What happened? (My guess – and it could well be 2+2=5 territory – is that Cook arrived and wanted Ballance. Cook has always preferred players he knows and I suspect rates Ballance after he scored runs when Cook was struggling).
    2) The Ballance parallel is an interesting one. He scored 23 and 104* on debut. In his first three series he scored a stack of runs – but the front-foot weakness was always suspected and it took that long for teams to work it out and to find bowling attacks good enough to exploit it. If Hameed has a weakness it’s on the back-foot. Anyone remember Dirk Wellham? Scored a debut century for Australia but turned out he couldn’t play off the back-foot. The pitch and the Indian bowling didn’t allow it to be properly tested. Back-foot play is obviously crucial for a Test opener. I hope there isn’t a problem there, or if there is he can overcome it, but let’s wait and see, eh?
    3) The temperament claims also have Ballance parallels. When Ballance appeared we were told how marvelous his temperament was because he’d never had a lean patch in his career. We were also told how mentally strong he was. It turns out that when he encountered a bad patch he may not have known what to do and has been too obstinate to address his technique (if one believes the spin). Hameed may have an excellent temperament. It looked good based on one Test match. But I’m not convinced that because the England set-up and MSM declare he has an excellent temperament proves it. They’ve got some very fixed ideas on this and have been wrong before. Let’s wait and see, eh?
    4) From the reports, Broad seems to have been quite instrumental in getting Hameed selected. Broad apparently gave him a very good report from a CC match they played. Broad also reportedly gave Mark Wood a big write-up just before he was first selected. Whether that proves Broad has excellent judgment, that senior players have too much influence or that success has a thousand fathers is a matter of taste.

    On MSM hype, I don’t doubt there was some genuine joy at seeing a new face perform. On the string of Lancashire openers Atherton mentioned, I’d only add that Lloyd and Fowler made big scores against India but struggled massively against better pace attacks. But there’s also always the feeling that the MSM’s agenda is to protect management. They know the conveyor-belt of openers recently has made them look a bit of a laughing stock. Let’s remember Robson and Lyth made scores early on (second Test rather than first admittedly).

    In the end, a five-match series stands at 0-0. That’s all. If there hadn’t been all this “it’s going to be 5-0” hysteria things would perhaps be a little calmer. The expectation-management strategy works again which is why they keep doing it. It seems to work with a section of the England fanbase forever scarred by 1989-2003 and ready to go overboard given half a chance, which Dhaka provided. If we should have learnt one thing about ‘new era’ England it’s that the last match is a very poor predictor of how England will go next time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • LordCanisLupus Nov 15, 2016 / 10:37 am

      Ballance made his debut in the disengaged test in Sydney. He made those scores in his home debut.


      • SimonH Nov 15, 2016 / 12:02 pm

        I’d managed to successfully forget Sydney!


    • nonoxcol Nov 15, 2016 / 10:51 am

      I wonder what The Spin will be about today…………..


      • SimonH Nov 15, 2016 / 4:31 pm

        The evils of Giles Clarke? Why cricket should return to FTA? The iniquities of the international schedule? The Big Three shake-up two years on? Why Joe Root should be England captain?

        Am I getting warm?


      • SimonH Nov 16, 2016 / 5:55 pm

        And there it is, a day late, but otherwise right on cue….


    • man in a barrel Nov 15, 2016 / 12:45 pm

      I remember Dirk Wellham. Bradman was one of the people who really talked him up. So former players, even of Bradman’s class don’t always call it right. Does anyone remember how many people prophesied that Rob Key would be a fixture in the middle order for years after an innings at Perth?


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 15, 2016 / 1:10 pm

        Richard Gibson in the Mail has Tendulkar in the title.

        “Haseeb Hameed’s remarkable rise is right to draw parallels with cricket great Sachin Tendulkar as the youngster dazzles on England debut. ”

        I mean. Really?

        Liked by 1 person

  9. pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 15, 2016 / 10:56 am

    I don’t really have much to add in terms of being a bit annoyed about the hyperbole as I said it after the first innings when he scored 31 after being dropped early on. Sure his scores speak of high promise but context is everything. I wanted him picked in Bangladesh and the ham-fisted continued selection of an out-of-sorts Ballance didn’t sit well with me, nor using Duckett as an opener.

    The batting line-up looked a lot better as a result of those changes, but it remains to be seen how it prospers in the likely more challenging conditions that await in later tests.


  10. LordCanisLupus Nov 15, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    Click on the article for one of the most hilarious infographics you will ever see.


  11. SimonH Nov 15, 2016 / 2:30 pm

    Rahul looks like he’ll be back for India. I’ve been impressed the two times I’ve last seen him but both were in quite easy batting conditions. He’s also a good close catcher.

    Anderson for Woakes looks under consideration by England.


    • d'Arthez Nov 15, 2016 / 3:32 pm

      I hope not. Unless you want to stuff Anderson up permanently. I’d rather drop Broad than Woakes, at least in India.


      • oreston Nov 15, 2016 / 5:58 pm

        Drop Broad? You do realize that just isn’t going to happen?

        Mind you, at least Woakes would get the benefit of a bit of a break from the crazy schedule.


      • SimonH Nov 15, 2016 / 8:42 pm

        This is when our old friend “looking good in the nets” usually appears. Oh look –


      • Mark Nov 16, 2016 / 10:16 am

        Jimmy Anderson is fast taking on the status of a modern day Bonnie Prince Charlie for the press gang.

        “Oh won’t you nae come back again”

        I’m sure they have all been briefed over a nice dinner what line to spin. If they pick him, and he either breaks down or is a bit rusty who will be held responsible? Not the captain that’s for sure.


    • Mark Nov 15, 2016 / 3:02 pm

      It’s almost as if he just copied an ECB press release.


  12. Mark Nov 15, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    Listened to Tuffers and Vaughn last night. It’s sad to see shinny toy go over so completely to the dark side. Tuffers has long since departed on the Cook Ghost train of drivel. A few years ago there was a real contrast of opinion between them. Now it’s just parroted ECB answers.

    Fair play to Mark Chapman for trying to give the counter argument. But both were staunchly defending Cook for plodding along at 2 runs an over for a session. According to Vaughn it was all because we lost the last test in Bangladesh, and so that would make us very cautious.

    Tuffers trotted out some nonsense about how players could have done a Warner and been out in the first over. HELLO? There is middle ground here. They don’t have to go at 2 an over or 8 an over. How about if they just tried to up it to 3.5 – 4.5 an over? That’s all. But apparantly even this moderate suggestion can’t be put forward in case it makes captain marvellous look bad.


    • Stevet Nov 15, 2016 / 4:38 pm

      From Shiny Toy in the DT.

      “When Adil gets confidence and a spring in his step he is dangerous,” says Vaughan of the leg-spinner, who was man of the match in Rajkot.

      “But he loses confidence too quickly and is fragile. He is quite insecure, that is his make-up, it is not suddenly going to change”

      It’s THAT word again


  13. Escort Nov 15, 2016 / 6:27 pm

    Has Hameed signed up to Shiny toys PR agency yet? 💰💰😉😉


      • Mark Nov 15, 2016 / 7:05 pm

        It’s quite a feat to be trying to push players into the England team, and at the same time give impartial opinion of the England captain and set up for the media. They used to call it conflict of interest.


    • Mark Nov 16, 2016 / 10:01 am

      He has a little to much relish for the fact that this means Hales will not be picked as an opener again for my tastes.

      No agenda there then?


      • SimonH Nov 16, 2016 / 10:20 am

        I don’t think this is related to Bangladesh – more that Berry has never rated Hales as a batsman.


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 16, 2016 / 10:22 am

          But in that piece he’s keen to have him at 3, put Root at 4 and have yesterday’s Shiny Toy, Ben Duckett (and didn’t the hosannas for that 50 in Dhaka get quickly forgotten) will have to fend for himself.


      • Mark Nov 16, 2016 / 10:36 am

        He did say having him at 3, but his opening paragraph is a bit over the top…..

        “Haseeb Hameed, after the most dazzling of debuts, has only to avoid a pair in the second Test to consign Alex Hales’s career as a Test opener to Wisden.”

        So Hales will never open again for England? Will Cook ever retire? Will Hameed never get injured? It’s an extraudinary claim to make on the basis of one test match.


  14. SimonH Nov 16, 2016 / 1:06 pm

    Rod Marsh has quit. Not sure yet if he’s “transitioning” to a new role of selector of selectors.

    Australia’s place in the Big Three must be in question. That’s not for their performances on the pitch of course – but for allowing articles like this where the position of management can be put under scrutiny by mere results:


    Can’t be having this sort of thing! Australia might not be able to produce crease-occupying batsmen any more but at least with Brettig, Lemon, Jackson and others they still have a functioning press.

    By the way. it was said on BT Sport’s highlights of the last day in Hobart that Vaughan’s off to India (you lucky people!) and Ponting’s going to the BBL so the Third Test will be in the hands of The Godfather and Lovejoy. I take back anything nice I might have said previously about BT’s coverage.

    Finally, it hasn’t been widely mentioned but apparently the domestic T20I’s in 2018 are going to be a triangular tournament. That means England-India-Pakistan. Had anyone else been wondering why Pakistan were coming back in 2018 only two years after a four-Test tour? It makes sense now. I’m looking forward to this being presented as some heroic gesture of reconciliation or commitment to growing the game rather than the blatant attempt to rake in TV cash that it obviously is.


  15. pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 16, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    Don’t know where to put this but apparently George Dobell has been refused BCCI accreditation for the 2nd test and plans to report from the stands instead. I don’t know what he’s done to deserve being banished like that but it sounds pretty rum from BCCI?

    Anyone have any clue why?


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 16, 2016 / 1:31 pm

      It’s not his turn. BCCI allow limited accreditation for websites and it’s not Dobell’s turn for Cricinfo. They get one spot.


      • Mark Nov 16, 2016 / 1:40 pm

        I honestly don’t think there is a worse run sport in terms of the way they treat supporters and people trying to promote the game than cricket. And when you think how bad other sports are run that’s saying something.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s