'Nervous' Dawson revels in debut half-century


England debutant Liam Dawson conceded to having to battle against almost crippling nerves to make a half-century in the fifth Test against India.

Dawson's unbeaten 66 set a record score for an England player batting below seven on debut on a flat track at MA Chidambaram Stadium, where England reached 477 and the hosts were 60 without loss at the close of day two.

And the 26-year-old, who also pitched in with a maiden over, hopes it is just the beginning for him on the international stage.

"The first 20 balls were probably the most nervous I've ever been, but thankfully I came through it," he said.

"I've watched a lot of international cricket and knew the bouncer was going to be a factor, but it was a good start.

"Becoming a genuine all-rounder is my goal. Batting is my priority, but I was hoping I'd get at least an over to bowl this evening so that was great."

Moeen Ali made England's biggest contribution with a classy 146, but he knows the tourists face a sizeable task to oust a stubborn India batting line-up.

"It's going to be very hard and a big challenge," he said. "We have three days, but they play spin very well. We're going to have to do very well to bowl them out twice.

"Batting this year has gone quite well, but it's tough when you haven't got a consistent number.

"However, wherever I'm needed in the team, I'll bat. I was batting at five at the start of the tour, but now I'm batting at four.

"It's a good place to bat, but I'd rather bat at five."