“When we cast Tom Hartley, people raise their eyebrows…” – Brendon McCullum slams England critics

Tom Hartley and Brendon McCullum

England Coach Brendon McCullum praised debutant Tom Hartley for his impressive bowling performance in the first Test against India. Brendon McCullum admitted that they made a punt on Tom Hartley, which paid off for them during the series opener in Hyderabad.

Tom Hartley made his debut against India in the first Test despite his limited experience in first-class cricket. The left-arm bowler had a forgettable outing in the first innings, conceding two sixes in his opening. He recorded bowling figures of 2-131 in his 25 overs.

However, Hartley produced a match-winning bowling performance to bowl India out in the second innings. The young bowler took seven wickets in 26.2 overs and conceded just 62 runs. He dismissed key batsmen including Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill.

Tom Hartley is a tough character – Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum highlighted the remarkable management of captain Ben Stokes Tom Hartley to ensure victory in the test. McCullum acknowledged the challenges ahead in the long series and anticipated a strong response from India.

“Tom Hartley on debut, who has only played a handful of first-class matches, stepped up with the bowl. He was a punt pick.” McCullum said on SENZ Radio.

“We saw something in him that we thought would work here. He is a tough character and the way the boss treated him was also quite remarkable. Obviously it led us to victory in the test.”

“There are so many different emotions. The boys have gained a lot of confidence with the victory in Hyderabad, but we also know that it is a long series and we have work to do. “India will bounce back strongly, but we certainly celebrated last night.” he added.

England secured a 28-run victory in the first match by bowling out the Indian team for 202 runs on Day 4. Despite facing a significant deficit of 190 runs after the first innings, England staged a remarkable comeback to clinch the victory. and secure a 1 -0 lead in the series.

People raised their eyebrows – Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum highlighted the discussions surrounding Tom Hartley’s selection for the national team, emphasizing his bold decision-making process based on a player’s skills and character.

“When we picked Tom, people raised eyebrows, but let’s not forget that Nathan Lyon only played a handful of first-class cricket averaging 40 when he was first picked for the Australian Test team.” McCullum further stated.

“When you see guys who are good enough and the conditions suit them, it’s like racehorses. You have to back up your judgment on things like that. If you like the skills and the character, you should also be brave with the selection.”

Tom Hartley also impressed with the bat, scoring 23 and 34 in the two innings of the recent Test match. The youngster will be hoping to continue his form in the second Test, which will be held in Visakhapatnam, starting on Friday, February 2.

Also Read: Nasser Hussain praises Tom Hartley for proving skeptics wrong with spectacular bowling in first Test