Geoff B - surely anyone who likes proper cricket would go to watch Root, Bairstow and Stokes bat? And if the top six also included Cook, Habeeb and steady man AN Other, that's just a well balanced order, 3 of each.
Trouble is, people in general - and Indians in particular - have no understanding that it is the BATTLE that makes cricket great, as opposed to the BATTING, in the sense of hitting fours and sixes. There has been some brilliant cricket played in the three Tests so far, and not all by India, but the grounds have been 90% empty.
It is even more worrying when the SELECTORS don't seem to understand the difference either. But give them credit for recognising in the Lancashire kid the age-old qualities.
There's a verse in a John Arlott poem:
There was a wisdom so informed your bat
To understanding of the bowler’s trade
That each resource of strength or skill he used
Seemed but the context of the stroke you played.
The poem was written "to John Berry Hobbs" and a wonderful appreciation it is, from a great writer to a great player. It is a bit fanciful of me to begin to compare Habeeb with Hobbs, yet, but I thought instantly of that 'wisdom informing his bat' phrase when I watched the youngster tackling the spinners in his very first Test. The contrast with Duckett could not have been more stark.
I think Habeeb's greater struggle will come facing the quick W Indies and S African bowlers this summer, on bouncier pitches, then the Aussies away, if all goes well for him. He needs to sort those low hands, and I am NOT being wise after the event - see photo and caption.