Spinner Tom Hartley hopes to have “respect on my name” after bowling England to an incredible victory in the first Test against India in Hyderabad.
Left-armer Hartley, 24, had his first delivery in Test cricket belted for six by India opener Yashasvi Jaiswal.
But Hartley’s 7-62, the best haul by an England spinner on debut since 1933, inspired their 28-run win on day four.
“I felt ready for it,” Hartley told Sport. “I know my ability on spinning wickets. I knew I could do well.”
Lancashire’s Hartley was a left-field call-up for the tour of India, having previously played only 20 first-class matches.
England believed he had the attributes to be successful on Indian pitches, especially given his height.
He was presented his cap by former England and Lancashire opener Michael Atherton before play in Hyderabad.
Hartley made 23 with the bat on the first day, including hitting a six, but was then punished by Jaiswal in leaking 63 runs from nine overs in his first spell with the ball.
“I was so nervous that first day. I was so happy to bring a few runs to the team, hit a six, tick a few things off,” said Hartley.
“Then it was frustration that I was the bowler getting picked on, I was thinking if this was going to be the story for the whole series.
“I’ve been hit for a lot of sixes in my career, so I don’t let these things get on top of me. The background I’ve had is to not let yourself get down. I just want to be a fighter and throw some punches back.”
Hartley recovered on the second day to claim two wickets and continued to contribute with the bat in England’s second innings, making another 34 as the tourists fought back to set India 231 to win.
Hartley then claimed the first seven-wicket haul on debut since the great Jim Laker in 1948 and took the final one to fall as England sealed victory in the extra half-hour at the end of the fourth day.
“To come 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,” said Hartley.
The defeat was just a fourth in 47 home Tests for India and England now have the opportunity to go 2-0 up in the five-match series in the second Test in Vishakhapatnam, starting on Friday.
And Hartley feels prepared to play an enhanced role in the remainder of the series.
“Coming out here, I was just looking to get a game or a couple of games,” he said. “I might now have a big role, but I’m more than ready for that. I want more of it.”