The England fast bowler’s claim that the Lancashire opener is already more “technically sound” than Cook at 20 might raise a few eyebrows, not least of which the pair sitting over his former England captain’s eyes.
But as the Red Rose pair prepare to tackle Essex – without Cook, who pulled out on Wednesday with a hip injury – at Old Trafford today, Anderson has not held back in saddling the young batsman with sky high praise and expectations.
“Haseem has got all the attributes to cope with anything that’s thrown at him,” said Anderson. “His ability and his talent is frightening for such a young lad.
“I’d say he is as talented as anyone I’ve seen coming into the England side during my career, or at least right up there. I know Cookie is the leading runscorer but I’d say he is a better, more technically sound opening batsman than Cook.
James Anderson had high praise for Haseeb Hameed
Anderson said Haseeb Hameed is already more "technically sound" than Cook at 20
“I have played with him at Lancashire last year and you see teams throwing everything at him – short balls, trying all sorts, around the wicket, everything – and he seemed to cope with everything.
“From an opening bowler’s point of view when your opening batter has that calm way about him it settles the whole dressing room, when you see someone play like that, in a calm manner.
“He is going to need that if he gets down to Australia. I’m sure they will throw everything they’ve got at him, certainly with pace, short balls, aggression, verbals. I’m sure they’ll go at him. They usually pick on the young guys but with his calm nature he’ll be able to handle it.”
If Hameed has everything in his locker and even more to look forward to, Anderson concedes the twilight of his own career is upon him for all that he refuses to talk dates when retirement is mentioned.
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The 34-year-old missed a Test against Pakistan last summer after a stress fracture to his right shoulder and skipped the final Test of the India tour with ankle and shoulder problems.
As a result of more frequent injury breaks, Anderson accepts his workload will have to be carefully managed this summer – including possibly missing the odd Test – if he is to make it to the Ashes next winter.
“Obviously I’m not getting any younger and, considering the injury problems of the last 12 months, it makes sense to manage that a bit better going forward,” he said.
“I am more open now to the fact that I might have to miss the odd game to make sure that I don’t over-bowl. The start of season will be about managing it and getting used to workload again, not doing too much too soon and putting too much pressure on it.”
Anderson starts the season as England’s leading man on 467 Test wickets with the next milestone very much within his reach this calendar year with a dozen Tests between now and the end of the Ashes.
“I have never really looked at targets, goals. I enjoy playing cricket, I still love it and that is why I’ve been on pre-season tour with Lancashire.
“Everyone I speak to says you are a long time retired so I am going to get myself in the best possible condition to play for as long as I can.
“I know I am going to have to bowl bloomin’ well to keep my place in that England team so that is what I will be looking to do and whatever happens, whether I get to 500 wickets or not, will happen.”
Jimmy Anderson was speaking on behalf of BRUT Sport Style, the new fragrance from men’s grooming brand BRUT.