Tom Hartley’s youth coach says he could have never imagined the heights the spin-bowling sensation would reach.

Against all the odds, England recorded a famous victory in India in the first Test match of their 5-game series, Hartley’s seven-wicket haul in Hyderabad earned him the man of the match award on debut.

England’s victory by 28 runs after closing back a first innings deficit, will go down as one of the great comebacks in Test match cricket, Hartley’s performance one of the great bowling performances in India. All this just two months on from working at a garden centre.

It’s overnight success as an international cricketer, but his former Ormskirk youth coach, Bill Rankin, says it’s been a long journey journey through the ranks. “It’s been a gradual thing, he wasn’t a player – and I think his dad and even himself would agree – that you looked at when he was 13 and thought ‘oh he will play for England one day’.

“To get into the squad was fantastic and something of a surprise for him, and then to get picked for the first Test as well, you know circumstances conspired. Obviously, McCullum and Rob Key and Ben Stokes have seen something in him that they think, yeah, you can work for us, and it’s fantastic to see.”

Hartley’s cricket roots began at Ormskirk Cricket Club, where he played at youth level and through into his teenage years, and he still has links to the club through his father’s flower business who provide Ormskirk with their hanging baskets. Now it’s Hartley who is blooming as a test match cricketer.

While Rankin, who coached Hartley for 2 years, may not have seen the 24-year-old ever representing his country, he says his hard work and dedication was obvious. “He has worked at his game consistently, and he’s not stopped and he won’t stop, I am sure he won’t. He’s just got that desire to improve himself and that’s what’s got him where he’s got.”

“If he’d have stayed still and just carried on, he’d have been a good club cricketer, but he’s turned himself into more.”

The Lancashire club made a social media offer for drinks “on the house” to celebrate Hartley’s historic success, it could turn out to be an expensive winter for the bar takings, if he carries on in this manner.