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Tom Hartley’s Bazball Thrill Sets the Stage for India Rematch

On his debut, Tom Hartley saw and felt a lot of the ups and downs of Test cricket over four days at Hyderabad.

Yashasvi Jaiswal, the opener, hit Hartley’s first ball in a Test match over long-on for six. His most recent ball, number 308, was spun past Mohammed Siraj, who was coming at him, for the ninth wicket of the match. That made his second-innings numbers 7 for 62, which was the first seven-for by an England debutant spinner since Jim Laker in 1948. It also sealed a famous 28-run win for England.

Hartley’s Mindset

“As a spinner, people are going to come after you,” he stated. If people want to go after me, that’s fine with me. I feel like I need to change how I view things. As you recall the ball, you feel that it wasn’t a bad one. You have to go along with how they want to play if that’s what they choose.

A pleasantly downbeat view, probably helped by the fact that the punishing first ball, first day, and first innings of 2 for 131 are now history. It’s also a way of thinking that the 24-year-old has developed through playing white-ball cricket.

Hartley has played 82 T20 matches but was only playing in his 21st first-class match. They all came for Lancashire Originals or Manchester Originals.

Tom Hartley’s Mindset

Tom Hartley’s Evolution Under Crowe’s Guidance

Crowe, who discovered Hartley before he made his first-team debut, tightened his seam position, which is now cleaner than before. ECB coaches liked him on England Lions tours either side of the summer, so they took a chance on him despite his 19 County Championship wickets at 44.84 in 2023.

Tom Hartley’s New England teammates quickly understood his selection. He tormented batters on raked, saw-dusted Abu Dhabi practice pitches during their pre-tour training camp. Balls were spinning, clinging, or digging on similar lengths to Sunday’s surface.

Tom Hartley followed suggestions even during the Test. That nervous start led assistant coach Jeetan Patel to suggest adjusting his run-up speed.

Carl Crowe

“Only in the nets,” he said. “It’s the only time that it rags like that, in the nets. But it was fantastic, it’s such a nice feeling that every ball you’re going to put down is going to turn quite a lot.

“You can just keep it so simple, pitch every ball on the stumps, and if it skids on, perfect, and if it doesn’t if it rags one foot, even better. It’s just unbelievable.”

Stokes and McCullum Inspire

Ben Stokes’ captaincy was also new. Tom Hartley, like many, has been captivated by England since Stokes and Brendon McCullum met in 2022. He is fulfilling his goal and will adjust to the field’s continual changes.

“I’ve watched a bit, and they’ve done some rogue things,” stated he. I’m on board after this Test match because that’s how they are. Even before, I was happy and in. They’re a wonderful combination and give this team confidence and life.

Stokes and McCullum Inspire

You glance around and think, ‘There was a fielder there last ball and now he’s gone somewhere else’ while you bowl. You forgot about that. Focus on bowling; he’ll field.”

“Coming out here, I was just looking to get a game or a couple of games. I might have a big role, but I’m more than ready for that. I want more of it.”

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