The last time Gareth Batty played a Test match before the ongoing first five-dayer against Bangladesh was back in 2005 at Chester-le-street. It goes without saying that it has been a long wait for the off-spinner to return to the England side.
The 39-year old performed well on his comeback, picking up the all-important wicket of Tamim Iqbal, who was caught behind by Jonny Bairstow after scoring 78 runs.
And following the end of the second day's play on Friday at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, the Yorkshire cricketer seemed over the moon as he informed that it's an amazing feeling to don the England jersey after 11 long years.
“Uff, wow! You stick the shirt on, it's an amazing feeling. I was very nervous, I've not been like that I don't think ever before in my career because you want to do well and I suppose it's a human and natural thing. And to get the big wicket of Tamim who was playing pretty well was amazing,” Batty told the media.
“I think I did a lot of hard work, changed a few things and developed a few things which I knew I had to do. It's been a huge challenge for me to get better and better and hopefully I can contribute for my team,” Batty told the media.
England were bundled out in the first hour of the second day after posting 293 in their first innings. In reply, Bangladesh registered 221/5, still trailing by 72 runs with five wickets in hand.
And Batty is of the opinion that the game is still evenly balanced going into the third day's play on Saturday.
“I would suggest it's a pretty evenly balanced situation after the second day as it's not a big gap between the two sides and if we can take wickets early and restrict them we are in the driving seat. If the pitch deteriorates, it's going a to be a wonderful Test match,” he said.
He also praised the Bangladesh team and debutant Mehedi Hasan Miraz, stating that the Tigers are now a formidable unit who make things difficult for the opponent.
“Yeah, the young off-spinner bowled magnificently in the first innings and the other Bangladeshi spinners as well. But hopefully our batsmen will handle them better in the coming days and things will get better. Hopefully we can get a good score on the board. I think they (Bangladesh) are evolving as a team. There’s some very fine players now and I thought they batted very well at a period (yesterday) and made things tough for us,” he said.