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  5. Gus Atkinson overcomes unintended pressure from father Ed to revel on Test debut against West Indies

Gus Atkinson overcomes unintended pressure from father Ed to revel on Test debut against West Indies

Gus Atkinson claimed the second-best bowling figures by an England bowler in his Test debut innings. Dominic Cork still holds the record for claiming the best figures in Test debut innings for England. Cork claimed 7/43 against West Indies at Lord's on June 22, 1995.

Edited By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: July 11, 2024 12:09 IST
Gus Atkinson.
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Gus Atkinson.

Calm-headed Gus Atkinson overcame the inadvertent pressure from his father Ed to script a memorable red-ball international debut as he claimed a seven-wicket haul to headline England's performance on day 1 of the Lord's Test.

The right-arm speedster emerged as the pick of all the England bowlers and finished with figures of 7/45 to help the hosts gain control of the game.

However, it was not easy from the outset as his father Ed who was present at the venue to cheer him up, ended up putting added pressure on him unintentionally.

"I was a bit nervous this morning, I woke up and all I could think about was the day ahead. I was emotional," Atkinson told journalists after stumps.

"I tried to keep as level as possible but my Dad was saying 'This is the biggest day of your life'. I just said 'Relax! I'm trying not to think like that!'," he revealed.

"I don't think it's sunk in yet. I was looking up at the board seeing my figures and just thinking, 'Wow.' A very special day," Atkinson opened up about his performance. 

"I was a bit nervous this morning. I woke up and all I could think about was the day ahead. I was a bit emotional this morning and then having my family there for my cap presentation - if you could have asked me what I wanted from my day that was pretty close to the top. It was pretty cool. Just to take a five-for is amazing, more than I could have dreamed of," he added.

Despite his terrific spell, Atkinson dedicated time to reflect upon things that he could still improve on and get better as a Test cricketer with time.

"I was targeting the fourth stump and trying to run it down the hill and with the left-handers, I was trying to push it across them with the odd in-swinger. I felt like that was the best way I could get the wickets. The seam was probably a bit more scrambled than I'd like but that is something I can work on. I feel like I can bowl quicker and hit the pitch harder when I bowl scrambled seam and it's worked pretty well for me in the past."

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