Jack Leach: Mark Butcher on how England spinner has turned from ‘last resort’ to ‘major part’

Mark Butcher on Jack Leach: “He’s proven me wrong and probably a lot of other people wrong. He’s encountered skids, falls, sharp turns at times and he has the knack to be able to throw the follow-up delivery with his arm.” – Sky Cricket pundit praises spinner Leach, plus closer Matthew Potts

England spinner Jack Leach is toasting a 10-wicket opener in Test cricket, and he clearly loves life under new skipper Ben Stokes.

Leach endured a difficult winter, like most of the England Test squad, to be fair, with Australia dishing out particular punishment to the slow left arm during The Ashes.

However, the 31-year-old followed up his first five-wicket haul in England early in the third Test against New Zealand at Headingley with another on day four as his fortunes continued to change.

leaching said Sky Sports Cricket: “[Under Stokes] it’s really attacking and I really enjoy bowling offensively.

“Stokesy’s confidence in his decisions, but also in us as players, I have never experienced anything like this.

“It’s very special to be a part of and that’s thanks to Stokesy and Baz (test coach Brendon McCullum) for putting it together.”

Sky Sports Cricket’s Mark Butcher discusses where Leach is improving; the impact Stokes is having on his game; and why bowling coach Jeetan Patel also deserves applause…

“I watched Leach toil over 90 overs in the West Indies on an old flat deck in Barbados earlier this year and wondered if he would ever have enough cunning and skill to survive Test cricket.

“He’s proven me wrong and probably a lot of other people wrong. He’s found skids, dips, sharp turns at times and he has the ability to be able to throw the delivery that continues with his arm.”

“I know it’s been a work in progress. Jeetan Patel said: ‘It’s coming up, Jack is working on things, he knows he has to if he’s going to be successful in Test cricket.’ Well, it fell into place here at Headingley .

“The work in progress has been about trying to get a little more control, a little less arm high, a little more drift to and away from right-handers, trying to get a little more spin on the stock delivery.” . instead of sending flying saucers undermining them.

“Jack has always been accurate and has won wickets on spins at places like Taunton. The question has been whether he has the skill and guile to be able to fool batsmen on flats in Test cricket without the ball spinning at an angle. straight. He has here .”

“All players are human and all human beings like to feel valued. Perhaps in the past they treated him like the last turkey in the store, literally the last resort.

“Once all the closers have had a couple of spells each, are flagging a bit and the ball has stopped moving, then England could put everyone on the edge, give the ball to Leach and see what happens.

“Stokes has said ‘no, you’re a big part of how we’re going to win test matches, I need you in the game, I need you to be able to bowl with the field up, what do you have for me?’

“Leach has more than delivered and Jeetan deserves a lot of praise here.

“There are times when he may have run out of patience, thinking the project might not have been moving fast enough, but he and Jack stood their ground, worked hard, and Jack deserved everything he got.”

butcher’s mate Sky Sports Cricket Expert Nasser Hussain added of Leach: “I’m very happy for him as he’s been through the mill, he really has.

“He suffers from Crohn’s disease, he’s had Covid bubbles, he had a concussion at Lord’s, he was under a bit of pressure at Trent Bridge. Moeen Ali is also in the background and would fit right into this regimen with the way he plays. .

“Jack was under a bit of pressure and delivering as he has is brilliant. The biggest tic for Stokes as captain is getting 10 wickets off his left arm at Headingley. That’s outstanding.”

Meanwhile, Matthew Potts has enjoyed an excellent debut series.

The fast-paced Durham will finish him as his side’s leading wicket-taker with 14 scalps, three of which have been New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

The 23-year-old has impressed with his durability, skill, consistency and confidence.

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