This is what they do nowadays. They say they’re thinking of picking someone as a means of increasing the scrutiny on them and then they see how the player reacts.
Earlier in the season, word got out that England were almost certainly going to pick Scott Borthwick. He reacted by briefly forgetting how to bat. England didn’t pick him.
Haseeb Hameed is not exactly in the spotlight now, as he would be in a Test match. He’s more under a large fluorescent strip light. This is not quite the same, but it’s a great deal harsher than the Toc H lamp light he’ll have experienced thus far in county cricket – where fans outnumbers reporters only because they actually warrant a plural.
Some sort of gauntlet of lumens has been thrown down to Ian Bell too. He’s capable of withstanding the glare, obviously – we already know that. It’s more a case of establishing whether he can be bothered to do so any more.