Chennai Test: How England's Liam Dawson delivered on debut

Updated: Dec 20, 2016, 12:30 IST | PA Sport |

England's Liam Dawson was thrilled to make his Test debut count despite the shock of being hit on the head by only the second delivery he faced

England’s Liam Dawson hits one on the leg side en route his unbeaten 66 on Day Two of the fifth Test against India at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. Pic/PTI

Chennai: England's Liam Dawson was thrilled to make his Test debut count despite the shock of being hit on the head by only the second delivery he faced.

The all-rounder may have been picked principally for his left-arm spin, as England try to return fire on R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on their tough tour of India, but they were indebted to his fine batting after he arrested a first-innings slide which threatened once again to get out of hand.

Dawson's unbeaten 66, and century stand with Adil Rashid (60) for the eighth wicket, steered England away from the relative crisis of 321 for seven on the second morning at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

The revival followed the ball of three quick wickets, including that of centurion Moeen Ali for the addition of only 26 to his overnight 120, which had created a Groundhog Day feeling in a series the tourists have already lost. The limit of England's ambition here can only be a consolation victory to reduce the eventual arrears to 3-1 — although after India had replied to 477 all out with 60 for none, this final match had all the makings of a stalemate already.

"It's my Test debut — there was no question I was always going to be up for it," Dawson said.

"You make one Test debut, and I was extremely excited — and from a team point of view, we said we wanted to finish this tour on a high."

The Swindon-born 26-year-old admits a Test career was far from his mind as recently as last month, when he was playing for Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) between England one-day international assignments.

Asked if he had even entertained the prospect of playing Tests at the start of the winter, Dawson said: "Not at all.

"I went out to Bangladesh for the BPL, and Test cricket didn't even cross my mind.

"So to be sat here now, having made my Test debut in India, is very special."

England (1ST INNINGS)
(Overnight 284-4)
A Cook c Kohli b Jadeja 10
K Jennings c Patel b Sharma 1
J Root c Patel b Jadeja 88
M Ali c Jadeja b Yadav 146
J Bairstow c Rahul b Jadeja 49
B Stokes c Patel b Ashwin 6
J Buttler lbw b Sharma 5
L Dawson not out 66
A Rashid c Patel b Yadav 60
S Broad run out (Rahul/Patel)
J Ball b Mishra 12

Extras (b 4, lb 5, w 1, pen 5) 15 Total (all out; 157.2 overs)...477
Fall of wickets 1-7, 2-21, 3-167, 4-253, 5-287, 6-300, 7-321, 
8-429, 9-455

U Yadav 21-3-73-2
I Sharma 21-6-42-2
R Jadeja 45-9-106-3
R Ashwin 44-3-151-1
A Mishra 25.2-5-87-1
K Nair 1-0-4-0

india (1ST INNINGS)
K Rahul not out 30
P Patel not out 28

Extras (lb 2) 2

Total (0 wickets; 20 overs)..60

S Broad 5-2-6-0
J Ball 3-0-9-0
M Ali 7-1-18-0
B Stokes 2-0-12-0
A Rashid 2-0-13-0
L Dawson 1-1-0-0 

Figure trigger

No. of times R Ashwin has dismissed Ben Stokes in five Tests during the current series

No. of runs scored by Liam Dawson, the highest by England’s No. 8 batsman on Test debut, eclipsing 59 by David Bairstow vs India at  the Oval in 1979

No. of times an overseas team has lost after scoring 400 or more in the first innings at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium

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