A statistical look at Tom Hartley’s remarkable figures on England Test debut

Tom Hartley became only the sixth Englishman to take seven wickets in an innings on Test debut as Ben Stokes’ side beat India by 28 runs in Hyderabad.

They were the best figures of Hartley’s career in any format and here, the PA news agency takes a look at the statistical significance of his efforts.

Magnificent seven

Hartley, who saw his first and fifth balls as a Test bowler hit for six by Yashasvi Jaiswal after taking the new ball, battled for eventual first-innings figures of two for 131 but starred in the second as England overturned a 190-run first-innings deficit for a stunning win.

Beginning with the wicket of Jaiswal for a measure of revenge, he went on to take seven for 62.

Dominic Cork was the last England debutant to take seven in an innings – his seven for 43, against the West Indies in 1995, are also the national team’s best debut figures.

John Lever took seven for 46 and Alec Bedser seven for 49, both against India in 1976 and 1946 respectively, while among England spinners only James Langridge ranks ahead of Hartley with seven for 56 against the Windies back in 1933.

The name immediately behind Hartley on the list demonstrates the level of company he is suddenly keeping – in 1948, eight years before famously taking 19 wickets in an Ashes Test, Jim Laker began his Test career with seven for 103 in Barbados.

He, like Lever and Bedser, achieved the feat in their first Test innings while Cork, Langridge and Hartley’s hauls came in the second.

First in a decade

Kyle Abbott
Kyle Abbott was the last man to take seven wickets in an innings on Test debut (Mark Kerton/PA)

Only eight bowlers have taken eight wickets in an innings on debut, most recently Jason Krejza’s extraordinary figures of eight for 215 for Australia against India in 2008 – while Hartley is among a further 16 men to pick up seven. Three women have also achieved that feat, England’s Myrtle Maclagan and Australia duo Anne Palmer and Lesley Johnston.

Australian Albert Trott’s eight for 43 against England has stood as the record since 1895, in the 44th of what is now more than 2,500 Tests played.

As notable as Hartley’s achievement is in an international context, it is striking also in terms of his own career.

Before being handed his debut in Hyderabad, the best figures of his career – and his only five-wicket haul in any professional outing before Sunday – came with five for 52 in Lancashire’s County Championship win over Surrey in 2022.

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