Best figures on England Test debut

England and West Indies faced off at Lord's in the first Test of the English summer, and pacer Gus Atkinson stole the show as he picked up a seven-wicket haul on his Test debut.

Atkinson first struck in the eleventh over, as he induced a bottom-edge from West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite which cannoned onto the stumps. His second came four overs later, as Kirk McKenzie nicked a full length ball to Zak Crawley in the slip cordon. Thereafter, Atkinson struck thrice in one over, removing Alick Athanaze to break a 44-run fourth-wicket stand before getting rid of Jason Holder and Joshua da Silva, caught at slip and by the keeper respectively.

Atkinson then took the wickets of Alzarri Joseph and Shamar Joseph to finish with 7-45.

Who has the best figures on men's Test debut among England bowlers?

A total of seven players have picked up seven wickets on their England debut. Here are the names.

Dominic Cork: 7-43 vs West Indies, 1995

Dominic Cork's first innings in Test cricket did not go as planned, as he returned figures of 1-72 in 22 overs against West Indies at Lord's. But he soon turned things around, picking up 7-43 in the fourth innings, including the scalps of captain Richie Richardson and Keith Arthurton (the latter for a 40-ball duck) to help England secure a 72-run win.  

Gus Atkinson: 7-45 vs West Indies, 2024

In veteran pacer James Anderson's final international match, Atkinson put his hand up as a successor to his throne, ripping through the West Indies at Lord's. After completing his five-wicket haul with three scalps in a single over, he removed the Josephs — Alzarri and Shamar — to bowl the visitors out for a paltry 121.



John Lever: 7-46 vs India, 1976

John Lever arrived in Delhi uncapped for England, as they prepared to take on a couple of spin maestros in Bishan Singh Bedi and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar. But it was the left-arm pacer on debut who upstaged the Indian pair, as he took the wickets of all of India's top six, and wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani in the second innings of the match. He went on to take ten wickets in the Test, helping the visitors to an innings victory.  

Alec Bedser: 7-49 vs India, 1946

Another English medium pacer who tortured India on debut was Alec Bedser in 1946. This time at home, he proved too much for the visitors to handle as he dismissed Vijay Merchant, Lala Amarnath, Vijay Hazare and Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi before cleaning up the tail and returning figures of 7-49 in 29.1 miserly overs. He also took 4-96 in the third innings as England won by 10 wickets.


James Langridge: 7-56 vs West Indies, 1933

Left-arm spinner James Langridge finished his first-class career with a staggering 1530 wickets and 31716 runs to his name, and his first Test match saw him run through West Indies in the third innings. Despite going wicketless earlier in the first, he ripped through the heart of the middle-order to bowl them out for 225. As it happened, the match was drawn.

Tom Hartley: 7-62 vs India, 2024

Tom Hartley was a surprise pick on England's tour of India in 2024, and looked an unwise choice after he conceded 131 runs in 25 overs in his first go with the ball. But better things were to come as Hartley dismissed India's top three of Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill in the fourth innings and taking seven in total to bowl England to a 28-run win.

Jim Laker: 7-103 vs West Indies, 1948

A certifiable great of Test cricket, Jim Laker displayed early signs of his international success on debut against West Indies in Barbados. The off-spinner sent down 37 overs in the first innings, counting Clyde Walcott and George Headley amongst his victims as he took 7-103, helping bowl the hosts out for 296. The match was eventually drawn.

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