England head coach Trevor Bayliss praised the heroism of rookie batsman Haseeb Hameed after the teenager mounted a spirited rearguard action in the third Test against India despite a badly broken finger.
Hameed’s efforts, however, proved in vain as England slumped to an eight-wicket defeat – their fourth loss in six matches – and 2-0 series deficit on day four in Mohali.
The 19-year-old Lancastrian batted for marginally short of three hours and hit an unbeaten 59, having only taken two paracetamol to quell the pain of a severely fractured little finger on his left hand.
Hameed’s injury requires surgery and he will reluctantly fly home to have a metal plate inserted into the finger to aid his recovery. England are set to call up a replacement batsman for the rest of the tour, with Kent’s Sam Billings a leading contender.
“There’s plenty of other guys who have got hit and made a big song and dance about it,” said Bayliss, who also revealed that Hameed had to fathom a new way of gripping the bat.
“Obviously he’s got a big pain threshold. I think there’s a lot of guys in there in awe of what he’s been through. The lack of showing any pain and guts and determination is a good sign.
“If you’d have seen him in the changing room you wouldn’t have thought there was anything wrong with him. It’s a great sign, the sort of attitude you want going forward. He wants to stay and play the last two Tests, he wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“His old man said ‘just tape it up, he’ll be alright’. Not only can he play but it’s great to see an attitude like that. We’ll make sure he gets back and gets it done so he’s right to go early next season.”
Skipper Alastair Cook, meanwhile, conceded that the wrong team was selected for the third of five red-ball showdowns against the world’s No1-raked Test side. The 31-year-old admitted that a fourth seamer should have featured.
“All of us probably misread the pitch,” said Cook. “If we had known what we do now we would have gone for four seamers and two spinners. I looked at that wicket with a number of people and we thought it was dry and would spin more.”
Commencing the day on 78-4, England chalked up 236 in their second innings as vice-captain Joe Root top scored with 78, while Hameed, batting in an unaccustomed No8 slot, navigated 156 deliveries for his 59 not out.
Opener Partiv Patel crashed an unbeaten 67 from 54 balls as India extended their unbeaten run to 16 Tests and assumed an unassailable 2-0 series advantage. The next instalment of the tour comes in Mumbai with the match getting underway on 8 December.