Tom Hartley hopes impressive debut will ‘put a bit more respect on my name’

England newcomer Tom Hartley hopes the fairytale finish to his Test debut persuades India to “put a bit more respect on my name”.

The left-arm spinner, who was fast-tracked into the side after just 20 first-class games, played a starring role in a famous win at Hyderabad with second-innings figures of seven for 62.

That capped an emphatic shift in fortunes for the 24-year-old, who had earlier suffered a nightmare start when Yashasvi Jaiswal clubbed a solid first delivery in Test cricket for six.

More of the same followed just three balls later and his initial nine-over spell came at a princely cost of 63. While some may have been concerned over his readiness for the big stage, there was nothing but support from his team-mates.

He went on to pay that back quicker and more dramatically than anybody could possibly have anticipated and now travels to Visakhapatnam with a spring in his step and a point proven.

“I was so nervous that first day…so to come and out in the fourth innings and do what I did, hopefully they can put a bit more respect on my name and go forward from there,” he told BBC Sport.

“I’ve been hit for a lot of sixes in my career, so I don’t let these things get on top of me. It was more frustration of ‘why me? why am I getting picked on?’.

“The background that I’ve had is to not let yourself get down. I just want to be a fighter and throw some punches back.”

“He’s not the first and he won’t be the last,” he told reporters.

“You look at the first ball and it wasn’t a bad ball. If that’s the way they want to play you’ve just got to play with it.

“Thankfully I’ve had this white-ball background and, even playing in the Championship this past year, lads have come after me. You’ve just got to accept it. I’m fine with it if people want to come after me.”

Hartley, whose local club Ormskirk CC opened up to offer free drinks to members in honour of his achievement on Sunday, progressed from relative unknown to marked man at breakneck speed.

How India choose to combat him in the second Test promises to be an intriguing sub-plot but one thing he knows he can rely on is the full backing of captain Ben Stokes.

England’s captain Ben Stokes, left, was praised for his handling of Hartley's tough introduction to Test cricket (Manesh Kumar A/AP)
England’s captain Ben Stokes, left, was praised for his handling of Hartley’s tough introduction to Test cricket (Manesh Kumar A/AP)

“The confidence that he has, the way he just builds you up, there’s no negative thoughts,” said Hartley.

“After that first innings it was real tough for us and, personally, I didn’t bowl the way I really wanted to. But it’s all positive, if you’ve not bowled great it’s, ‘Right, what can we do better in the second innings?’ He brings so much confidence and life to this team.”

While Hartley’s stock has never been higher, there is an elephant in the room when it comes to his Lancashire prospects next season. The Red Rose have signed Australia’s Nathan Lyon on an overseas deal for 2024, with the off-spinner expected to be available for the majority of the season.

England would be disappointed if that hinders the progress of their latest find but the man himself has a better idea.

“I highly doubt (Lyon will miss out) so I hope we’re playing together, that would be fantastic,” he said.

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