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Gus Atkinson puts behind 'nervous morning' to get on honours board at Lord's vs West Indies on debut

England pacer Gus Atkinson had a memorable debut at Lord's on the opening day picking up seven wickets. Thanks to his terrific performance, England bundled out West Indies for just 121 runs in the first innings after opting to bowl first.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Updated on: July 11, 2024 12:41 IST
Gus Atkinson
Image Source : GETTY England pacer Gus Atkinson celebrating picking up a wicket

England are in a commanding position already in the ongoing first Test of the three-match series against the West Indies. The visitors were skittled for just 121 runs in the first innings with debutant Gus Atkinson picking up seven wickets for just 45 runs. These are the third best figures on debut for England in the longest format of the game.

Atkinson dismissed West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite, Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanaze, Jason Holder, Joshua Da Silva, Alzarri Joseph and Shamar Joseph as the visitors collapsed from being 88/3 to 121 all-out in the space of around 45 deliveries. Opening up about the special day, Atkinson revealed that he was nervous when the match got underway but the fact that all the focus was on retiring James Anderson helped him a lot.

"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. 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," the debutant said at the end of day's play.

James Anderson led the England side to the field at the start of play. Moreover, Atkinson's performance was like passing on the baton with the veteran playing his last Test and the latter making his debut in the format. "The focus was on Jimmy so it was nice to go under the radar a bit and just focus on performing as best as I could. To be out there alongside Jimmy in his final test was incredible, being in the Long Room, Jimmy leading us on the pitch was a pretty surreal moment," Atkinson further added.


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