England must come to terms with India’s unassailable 2-0 series lead after their defeat in Mohali and the loss for the rest of the campaign of a young player who appears born to be a Test opener.
Alastair Cook and Trevor Bayliss had little to smile about after India knocked off a paltry target of 103 to win by eight wickets inside four days — and Haseeb Hameed’s impending flight home to have a plate inserted in his broken left little finger was a further blow.
Yet as England consider who to call up in the 19-year-old’s place in time for the fourth Test in Mumbai, at least captain and coach know after Hameed’s 59 not out that he is their man for the future at the top of the order.
The injured Lancastrian had to bat out of position at eight in the second innings, yet still — in stands with Joe Root (78) and Chris Woakes — refused to accept England were done after conceding a first-innings lead of 134.
Hameed helped to dig out 236 in the second innings to at least set a three-figure target. Cook said: “It’s unlucky for a young player who’s impressed us with his technique, talent and his bravery and determination that when he’s playing for England he’ll do anything to get out there. The way he played was special.”
Bayliss added: “There’s a lot of guys in awe of what he’s been through.”