Uncapped England left-arm spinner Tom Hartley has shown confidence in his ability to be successful on Indian pitches during the upcoming five-match Test series, starting in Hyderabad on January 25 as well. The talented player is one of four spinners in the English ranks for the daunting Test series on Indian soil. With the Indian side boasting several right-handed batters in their top six, England could hand Hartley a Test debut as the second left-arm spinner in the playing XI along with seasoned campaigner Jack Leach.
Speaking to Wisden Cricket Monthly, Hartley said, “I’ve only been to India once but the pitches just allow you to fire it in, you don’t even have to think about flight or guile or anything like that. You just let the pitch do the work. In county cricket the pitches are a lot flatter, so spinners have to use their wits a bit more, whereas in India you’re the one who’s meant to be in control. If you’re firing it in and hitting the seam, you’ll be ragging it past the edge.”
Further added Tom Hartley, “The conditions will be in my favour, I bowl similar to what their boys do, so there’s no reason why I should be scared, you’ve just got to bowl at what’s in front of you. I’m round about mid-50s mph, but with my height, I can’t really go up and down, my trajectory is normally down just because of my height, but that’s not a bad thing, it just makes me bowl that little bit quicker,” he added.
However, Hartley has played only the two ODIs for England against Ireland but he has bowled in only one of them and finished with figures of 0/48 in his allotted 10 overs. Despite Rehan Ahmed playing only one Test for England, Hartley remains their most experienced first-class spinner after Leach with 20 games as well.
“I’ve got a ‘carrom’ ball. It’s almost there. It’s easy to bowl it in the nets, I’ve bowled it a few times in county cricket and a bit in white ball, but with the style of play that England are after, given a chance, hopefully I’ll flick it out for yer,” again said Tom Hartley.