His first wicket was that of Devon Conway, who flipped a size ball into the arms of Will Jacks at deep sq. leg, earlier than returning to the assault with New Zealand 95 for 7 and taking three wickets in 5 balls: first as Tim Seifert top-edged a pull, earlier than Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson had been dismissed lbw and bowled respectively.
It capped a exceptional rise for Atkinson, who started the season out of the Surrey crew, earlier than a brisk exhibiting towards Middlesex, stay on Sky, caught the attention of the broader world and backed up why he’d been on a variety of England lengthy lists for some time. One phrase: tempo.
“I knew that after I bought going, it might occur rapidly,” Atkinson mentioned. “I’ve all the time recognized my skill and what I can do and I all the time knew as soon as I had an opportunity with the video games… The Hundred’s a giant alternative and I knew if I might carry out in that it will occur rapidly and fortunately it has.”
“Most likely a year-and-a-half now,” Atkinson mentioned of how lengthy the comparisons have been circulating. “I do not like to consider that a lot to be trustworthy.”
A peaceful character who team-mates say has noticeably come out of his shell during the last couple of years, Atkinson is a well-liked individual within the dressing room. When requested by the Oval Invincibles media crew what he could be if he weren’t an expert cricketer, his reply was mannequin, a remark that obtained dressing-room large laughter.
“Considered one of my buddies mentioned, ‘you by no means know, we’d get a smile out of you whenever you get your first [England] wicket’,” Atkinson joked after his understated celebration when Conway was dismissed. “So I used to be pondering of that after I bought my wicket however yeah, I used to be clearly very comfortable inside.
“[It was] fairly superb. To have my household right here and a few buddies right here and a few fellow Surrey team-mates, I simply tried to do what I have been doing for Surrey and the Oval Invincibles and fortunately it labored nicely for me tonight.
“I felt at residence. You simply need to get that first ball out of the best way, then your first over, first wicket no matter and fortunately that got here rapidly. I used to be enthusiastic about it a bit in a single day, like hopefully my first over goes nicely, then I will be okay from there and fortunately it [was].
“I believed the nerves would kick in in a while however as soon as I bought that first ball, first wicket and first over out of the best way, then it was comfortable days.”
Atkinson is predicted to be a part of England’s wider fast-bowling arsenal for the ODI World Cup in India, regardless of having solely performed two Record A video games, each of which had been in 2021.
“I have never performed a lot 50-over cricket however I’ve performed a little bit of Championship cricket this yr, so must be all proper,” was his easy response.
But when Atkinson has earned the proper to be something this yr, it is assured. Within the phrases of Bairstow: “I feel that is going to be the primary cap of some, positively on this format and I am positive in a couple of others as nicely.”
Cameron Ponsonby is a contract cricket author in London. @cameronponsonby