Jack Leach: Mark Butcher on how English spinner has changed from ‘last resort’ to ‘great cut’ | Cricket News

See all the scalps in Jack Leach's 10-wicket match for England against New Zealand at Headingley

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See all the scalps in Jack Leach’s 10-wicket match for England against New Zealand at Headingley

See all the scalps in Jack Leach’s 10-wicket match for England against New Zealand at Headingley

England spinner Jack Leach toasts to a 10-wicket first game in Test cricket – and clearly loves life under new skipper Ben Stokes.

Leach endured a difficult winter – like most of the England test team, to be fair – with Australia handing out a special penalty to the slow left arm during The Ashes.

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

Leach talks about playing under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum and working with spin coach Jeetan Patel

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Leach talks about playing under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum and working with spin coach Jeetan Patel

Leach talks about playing under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum and working with spin coach Jeetan Patel

Leach told Sky Sports Cricket†[Under Stokes] it’s really offensive and I really enjoy bowling offensively.

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

“It’s very special to be a part of it and that’s an honor for Stokesy and Baz (Test coach Brendon McCullum) for setting it up.”

Butcher: Leach proved me wrong

Sky Sports Cricket’s Mark Butcher looks at where Leach is improving; the impact Stokes has on his playing; and why spin bowling coach Jeetan Patel also deserves credit…

“I saw Leach slammed through 90 overs in the West Indies earlier this year on a flat old deck in Barbados and I wondered if he would ever have enough trickery and skill to survive in Test cricket.

Mark Butcher says Leach learned how to prize wickets on pitches without extravagant turns

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Mark Butcher says Leach learned how to prize wickets on pitches without extravagant turns

Mark Butcher says Leach learned how to prize wickets on pitches without extravagant turns

“He’s proved me wrong and probably a lot of other people wrong. He’s found drift, found dip, found a sharp turn at times and he’s got the ability to bowl the delivery that happens with the arm.

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

“The work in progress was about trying to get a little more control, a little less high arm, a little more drift in and away from the right-handers, trying to get a little more overspin on the stock delivery rather than sending out flying saucers by undermining them.

“Jack has always been accurate, picking up wickets when turning pitches in places like Taunton. The question was whether he has the skill and cunning to fool flat-field hitters in Test cricket without turning the ball square . He has here .”

Butcher: Stokes has given Leach confidence

“All players are people and all people like to feel valued. He may have been treated like the last turkey in the store in the past, literally the last resort.

“Once the sailors have all had a spell a few times, a little flagging and the ball has stopped swinging, England can keep everyone on the border, pass the ball to Leach and see what happens.

I really enjoy working with Stokesy. I say something about mid back and say, ‘no!’ It’s really offensive and I really enjoy bowling offensively. Stokesy’s confidence in his decisions, but also in us as players – I’ve never experienced anything like it and it’s very special to be a part of it.

England spinner Jack Leach

“Stokes has said ‘no, you are an important part of how we are going to win exhibition games, I need you in the game, I need you to bowl with the field up, what have you got for me?’

“Leach delivered in spades and Jeetan deserves a lot of credit here.

“There are times when he may have run out of patience because he thought maybe the project wasn’t getting underway fast enough, but he and Jack have persevered, worked hard and Jack has earned everything he’s got.”

Sky Sports Cricket's Nasser Hussain believes shorter run-up helped Leach improve test cricket

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Sky Sports Cricket’s Nasser Hussain believes shorter run-up helped Leach improve test cricket

Sky Sports Cricket’s Nasser Hussain believes shorter run-up helped Leach improve test cricket

butcher’s comrade Sky Sports Cricket Expert Nasser Hussain added to Leach: “I’m really happy for him as he’s gone through the mill, really.

“He suffers from Crohn’s disease, has had Covid bubbles, suffered a concussion at Lord’s, was under a bit of pressure at Trent Bridge. Moeen Ali is also in the background and his way of playing would fit this regime perfectly. .

“Jack was under a bit of pressure and it’s brilliant to deliver as he has done. The biggest tick for Stokes as captain is to get 10 wickets from your left arm spinner at Headingley. That’s excellent.”

‘Great Potts runs the show’

England's Matthew Potts says he is enjoying the chance he's been given with the Test side.

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England’s Matthew Potts says he is enjoying the chance he’s been given with the Test side.

England’s Matthew Potts says he is enjoying the chance he’s been given with the Test side.

Matthew Potts, meanwhile, has enjoyed an excellent debut series.

The speedy Durham will finish as the leading wicket taker for his side with 14 scalps, three of which were New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

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

Butcher added: “Potts was amazing. You saw him on his debut and thought he must be incredibly nervous, but now he’s running the show.

“He’s been there to tell Stokes where he wants the outfield players, he’s chosen which side of the pitch he wants to pack, and he’s knocked over the best players in the New Zealand line-up.

“He energizes the ball even when it’s old. People say these Dukes balls are hopeless, get out of shape and don’t do what you want them to do.

“But this young man is bowling nine-over spells, generating energy from the field, causing the ball to burst through the top, hitting batters on the glove, squeezing the ball off the hem like this and all with great stamina. and great skill.”

Watch day five of the third and final LV= Insurance Test between England and New Zealand, from Headingley, on Monday, live on Sky Sports Cricket. Coverage starts at 10:15am, with the first ball at 11am.