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Tector describes Test debut: 'It certainly takes a lot of adjustment'

Ireland batter admits first-innings total below par but encouraged by fall of late wickets

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
04-Apr-2023
Harry Tector celebrates his fifty  •  AFP/Getty Images

Harry Tector celebrates his fifty  •  AFP/Getty Images

Before the Dhaka Test, Harry Tector played just a single first-class match in four years. He didn't feel too nervous coming into this game, admittedly not as much as he thought he would, but enough to keep him awake to the challenge at hand.
Ireland's long gap from Tests was the overriding theme on the first day at the Shere Bangla National Stadium. The batters needed a lot of adjustment as a result. While 214 is a below-par score at this venue, Ireland certainly had their moments.
Tector became the first Ireland batter to score a fifty in his first Test innings. He played some great drives, particularly one through the covers off the back foot that stood out. But he said that controlling his urge to loft the flighted delivery was probably the hardest part of the innings.
"[Scoring a Test fifty] is very different [to scoring white-ball fifties]," Tector said. "I think in one sense it is a lot easier because there's a lot more gaps. You can hit the ball and get it away for four. But there's a lot of challenges with different fields. The ball does a bit more. I think this was only my 11th first-class game. I think I played one first-class game in the last four years.
"It certainly takes a lot of adjustment for a lot of us to shift back into red-ball cricket. Trying not to hit the ball that loops up for a six, it is quite a challenge. You are trained to do that, because you play so much T20 and one-day cricket. Big shift in mindset. We have to learn from today."
Tector said that his dismissal - bowled by Mehidy Hasan Miraz shortly after reaching his half-century - was avoidable had he tried to defend the ball. The dismissal cut short a promising fourth wicket stand between him and Curtis Campher.
"It felt good for all of it until I got out," he said. "It was a poor decision in the shot I played, not so much a decent ball. I think if I defended that, it wouldn't have got me out. [There is] a lot of learning to do across the board. I put on a good partnership with Curtis Campher. We thought we could certainly put up a good total. We probably were a bit shy of where we wanted to be with the bat."
Tector praised the lower order, particularly Lorcan Tucker, for adding 90 runs for the last four wickets. It got Ireland past the 200-run mark from 124 for 6 in the second session.
"You need the lower-order to put on runs in these conditions. The big challenge here is to not lose wickets in clusters. I think we lost three for two. You can't really afford to do that. We built a nice partnership and then to go bang-bang-bang, it kills you. The guys certainly did very well. They batted nicely, nice and positive, played their shots."
But it would be Tamim Iqbal's wicket off the last ball of the day that spurs them on for the second day.
"[The Tamim wicket] was huge, unbelievable," he said. "I think it makes the day a bit more even. We are shy with the bat but getting two wickets tonight is huge. It gives a lot of momentum for us tomorrow. I think that dismissal in particular, the way the ball spun, it is a good sign for us on this wicket. It was amazing."
It was an exciting day all around for Ireland. It in fact started on the eve of the match when the team management decided to do the usual cap ceremony in the team hotel. There were so many to hand out - seven in total - that they couldn't do it on the morning of the match.
Tector, who said that it was a highlight of his short career, was informed that he is the 706th player to appear for Ireland at every level. This count goes back to the 19th century.
"It was pretty cool. We had a bit of a ceremony last night. There was seven of us, so presenting seven individual caps on the morning of day one would take a bit of time. It was really special.
"I am the 22nd Test player for Ireland but I am something like the 706th player to play for Ireland overall. It is a very special achievement. We are a lucky group of player to play Test cricket. It was an amazing feeling to play Test cricket for my country."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84