Lancashire assistant coach Mark Chilton believes Haseeb Hameed will benefit from time out of the spotlight as he bids to return to form.
Hameed was left out of the Red Rose side for their most recent Specsavers County Championship draw against Somerset at Emirates Old Trafford, which finished on Monday and left the county still searching for their first win of 2018.
The Bolton-born opening batsman, 21, has not scored a first-class or Championship century since August 2016 when he scored two in the same match against Roses rivals Yorkshire.
They came as part of a stunning run of form which catapulted him into England’s team for three winter Test Matches in India before a broken little finger ended his tour early.
Since then, there has been constant talk surrounding his return to international cricket despite a run of low scores.
This season, in six first-class or Championship innings, Hameed has posted 5, 3, 19, 8, 1 and 4.
Against Somerset, centurion Keaton Jennings and Alex Davies opened the batting, with Hameed playing second-team cricket against Northamptonshire this week.
“We are talking about Has again,” said Chilton. “And, for me, the guys who came into the side against Surrey last week performed and deserve their place.
“Has, at the minute, is the unlucky batsman to miss out. It’s no reflection on him as an individual.
“We know he’s still a player of high potential, but we have to be fair to all of the other players in the team.”
“We know he’s still a player of high potential, but we have to be fair to all of the other players in the team.
“I think with Has, the sooner it all quietens down and you just let Has play and work hard to get runs for Lancashire, he will get the rewards from that.”
On team selection in general, Chilton said: “We’ve had probably more headaches in these first four games than I have had in my whole career.
“Every team has been difficult for us to pick this year.
“Leaving Steven Croft out at Chelmsford was a tough decision, leaving Has out was a tough decision.
“We went in with what we thought was the best team to try and win the game.
“We were keen to get the spinner (Matt Parkinson) in, which I think is fairly obvious. Unfortunately for Has, he’s the one to miss out.”
Lancashire face Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge today in their fifth game of the summer. They were beaten by Notts in the season opener at Old Trafford last month.
This clash will see England’s Test Match new ball pair Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad go up against each other before the two-match series against Pakistan later this month.
This will be Broad’s third and final Championship appearance, while Anderson will play his second.
Both sides then begin their Royal London one-day Cup campaigns against each other next Thursday (17 May).
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