LONDON: Jack Leach wants to reclaim his role as England’s first-choice spinner in Tests as he returns from illness-enforced break.
Jack Leach is aware of the competition for places in the England Test squad as he works his way back into the setup following the bout of sepsis that kept him out of the South Africa tour earlier this year. England’s extended 30-man squad for the series against West Indies includes five frontline spinners, including Leach. Apart from Leach, the squad features Dom Bess, who replaced him in South Africa, Moeen Ali, who returns after a hiatus from red-ball cricket, and newcomers Amar Virdi and Matt Parkinson.
“We’ve got five really good spinners,” Leach said. “It feels like there’s everything to play for. There’s lots of competition throughout the squad and spin is no different. It’s about us all working together to be at our best. It’s up to the selectors and not up to us who takes that spot, but I’m so glad to see Mo back as well. When he’s at his best, he’s an unbelievable player.”
“I probably overthink at times, and that’s a mental thing that I’ve been working hard on. In my best moments, there hasn’t been a lot going through my mind. I think back to when I was out there with Stokes, and how focused I felt.
“It was a simple focus on what I was trying to do, and I want to apply that to my bowling as well – find that headspace where I can give my absolute best. I’ll be in the team longer if I bowl well, but if I keep getting remembered for batting innings, I’ll take that because I’ll be doing something right if I’m playing a lot.”