Haseeb Hameed has credited the warm environment he walked into at Nottinghamshire with giving him the freedom to perform, after hitting a half-century on the opening day of the 2020 season.
The 23-year-old scored 68 in his maiden First-Class innings for the county, helping his side to post 324.
“Coming to Notts has been a really refreshing change,” he said.
“The players have created a very special environment here, and I felt extremely comfortable being myself straight away.
“It was a very special feeling to make my debut today, and to contribute to what I feel is a good total as well.”
Hameed forged a formidable opening stand with Chris Nash in the morning session, with the duo lunching soon after posting a century partnership.
“I really enjoyed batting with Nashy this morning,” he said.
“He batted beautifully, and he’s awesome to be in the middle with. He simplifies things, and takes a lot of pressure off you when you’re out there.”
The pair were parted with the score on 111 when Nash fell lbw to Sam Conners, with the hosts going on to lose seven wickets in the afternoon session.
Hameed feels, however, that the lower-order runs added by Samit Patel, Jake Ball and Joey Evison leave Notts in a strong position.
“I actually felt like the first session wasn’t a fair reflection of the wicket,” he said.
“I didn’t really feel fully in at any point. It always felt like there would be one ball that would bounce on you, or do something and get you out.
“Derbyshire held their length better and challenged us a bit more in the second session. While it’s disappointing to have lost those wickets, you have to accept the opposition bowled well and got their rewards.
“From 192-7, we are very happy with where we are. The way Joey and Bally played was brilliant, and definitely gives us something to build on tomorrow.”
Before the start of play, Hameed received his county cap from skipper Steven Mullaney. It was a moment the right-hander admitted was special.
“Playing for Notts is everything for me right now – it’s an honour and a privilege,” he said.
“There’ve been some unbelievable players that have gone before us, and I always enjoyed playing here when I was part of the opposition, so to have Trent Bridge as my home now is very special.”
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