England spinner Jack Leach has bowled more than double any other bowler in England’s West Indies Test series and is loving every moment of it so far.
Image: Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Jack Leach is confident he can become the second-leg game-winning spinner England are looking for with his ability to bounce back from the horrors in Brisbane.
And the journey to becoming England’s reliable front-row spinner began just hours after he was maimed in the Ashes First Test in December. Leach was taken for 102 runs from just 13 overs as Travis Head led the assault on his bowling at the Gabba, but instead of wallowing in pity, the Somerset twirler was back the next day after the game was over .
There was something of a reward with 4-84 in the second leg of the draw in Sydney, but the reality is that Leach had to go through that harrowing experience and is now trying to prove his worth on a tour where he plays more balls. than ever before. “It’s something I’ve never had to do before,” Leach admitted. “It was tough, but that’s the kind of challenge I want.
“I’m trying to become the front row spinner for England and I really see the last two weeks as really valuable for my development on this road. I always want more wickets, probably in fewer overs than 94 or 95 I wish I had them a little faster, but it won’t be long before I turn those three-fors into five-fors, especially in the second run.
“Brisbane was…I felt awful. Not a good time but I think I trained the next day after the game thanks to Jeetan Patel who said ‘Let’s do something rather than simmer’. Australia was a very tough trip for everyone, but I felt like I learned a lot and came back very motivated and buzzing.
There has been a subtle shift in Leach’s outlook on his place in the England squad which should start to reap rewards. A cult hero for his one not out and heroic glasses cleanup at Headingley in 2019, the 30-year-old struggled to feel like he really belonged. But 168 overs so far on this tour show he’s backed to do a job by Joe Root, and after watching YouTube videos of Graeme Swann he’s taking some of his vigor and offensive vigor into his own style.
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“It was nice to play back-to-back games,” he added. “That’s what I want to do – play and contribute. I try to offer as much as I can and maybe I didn’t do that so much before. I felt like I was playing for my place.
“A big goal for me now is to have that attacking mindset, always looking to take wickets. I’ve been guilty of falling into spells, earning the right to bowl and go two over. But it is a negative state of mind.
“I’ve been watching YouTube videos of Swann and how attacking he looks. I don’t know what he was thinking – actually I know, it’s ‘how am I trying to get this guy out? “and sometimes the first 20 balls against a batter is your chance.