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Durham opener Jennings set for England call-up

Keaton Jennings

Keaton Jennings was named 2016 County Championship player of the year by the Cricket Writers’ Club

England are expected to call up Durham opener Keaton Jennings on Wednesday as replacement for Haseeb Hameed.

Jennings, 24, was the leading scorer in the County Championship in 2016 with 1,548 runs at an average of 64.5.

Lancashire’s Hameed, 19, will miss the remaining two Tests of the tour of India after breaking his left hand.

Left-arm spinner Zafar Ansari, 24, has been struggling with a back injury and there is doubt over whether he will be able to continue.

Meanwhile, England say they expect Chris Woakes to be fit for next week’s fourth Test in Mumbai despite an X-ray showing a crack on his right thumb.

All-rounder Woakes was injured by a blow to his hand when batting in the third Test defeat at Mohali on Tuesday.

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England are 2-0 down in the series with two matches to play. The fourth Test starts on 8 December.

Left-hander Jennings, the son of former South Africa coach Ray Jennings, captained South Africa at under-19 level before serving a four-year qualification period to be eligible for England.

The other candidates to replace Hameed include Nick Gubbins of Middlesex and Kent batsman Sam Billings.

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Haseeb Hameed was struck on the left hand when he was dismissed by Umesh Yadav on the first day of the third Test

Ben Duckett opened the batting for England during the 1-1 series draw in Bangladesh, but has made only 18 runs in three innings in India, while Gary Ballance, the other batsman in England’s squad, is also out of form.

Hameed, who will have a metal plate inserted in his hand, was struck by India pace bowler Umesh Yadav on the first morning of the third Test, which England lost by eight wickets.

England captain Alastair Cook said: “It’s devastating for him. He’ll come back again. To change his grip so he doesn’t use that part of his hand shows how good he is.

“We knew pretty much straightaway what the injury was, but we weren’t going to tell India it was a broken hand.”

England did not confirm Hameed’s departure until the conclusion of the Test, with coach Trevor Bayliss revealing the teenager wanted to remain and play through the injury.

Hameed became only the second teenager to make a Test debut for England since 1949 when he played in the first Test in Rajkot.

He marked the occasion with 82 in the second innings and his effort in the third Test made him the first England batsman to make two fifties before the age of 20.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan told Test Match Special: “He showed a huge amount of courage. He’ll be around the England side next summer.

“I would think as soon as he’s fit and raring to go, he’ll be back in the team.”

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/38140767