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1 month, 2 weeks ago

Jack Leach: ‘It’s been a nice realisation that maybe my ceiling is higher’

England spinner suffered concussion this summer but won his coach’s praise and has a new sense of worth in the Test team Jack Leach’s Test summer began as ominously as his winter had. Six months after Australia had crashed 103 runs from 13 overs in Leach’s first bowl of a disastrous Ashes, Zak Crawley passed him his phone in the dressing room on the eve of the first Test back. On it was a Youtube compilation of their new coach, Brendon McCullum, chasing balls down to the boundary in his playing days, diving head-first across the ground and hauling the ball back in, stopping certain fours in the name of saving one run. England’s left-arm spinner, one of many vulnerable places in a side sieged with uncertainty, sat next to his equally jeopardised teammate watching it for a minute, awestruck. They took mental notes. Twenty minutes into the first Test the following day, as fate would have it, Leach found himself chasing a ball destined for the rope. “I suddenly thought to myself…” He pauses as if to re-consider the options presented him, then says, “Oh god, I’m going to have to get my Baz McCullum out here.” Continue reading...
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