Left-arm spinner Jack Leach has enjoyed the challenge of leading England’s wicket-taking efforts in India, but is ready to take on a new role if the pink ball puts dressmakers at the forefront in the day-night test in Ahmedabad.
By Jack Leach
Last updated: 22/02/21 20:45 pm
In his latest Sky Sports column, Jack Leach talks again about playing in front of the crowds, preparations for the day-night test and how Ben Stokes solved the wi-fi issues in England in Ahmedabad …
Going into the series we understood how difficult it would be to play India in India and they performed very well in the second test. We had discussions about this, what we learned and how we want to get things done. I think we have handled this loss in a very positive way so far.
We have spent a few days in Ahmedabad now and have a pink ball game under the lights to look forward to, in a new stadium as well, so it’s very exciting. I think 55,000 fans are going to be in the stadium, so after experiencing 15,000 in Chennai, I can’t wait to hear how loud it is with 55,000!
It was great to have fans back in Chennai after playing for so long without a crowd. You get used to it a bit, but it’s always weird when there’s no one in the ground.
Living the fans here is great; you come to India and you hear how much they love their cricket and we really saw it in Chennai – there were only 15,000 but they know how to make noise! Indian fans also appreciate good cricket, so even as an opposing player, you can really enjoy playing in front of them.
It looks like a step in the right direction and I hope we can look forward to another summer in front of an English audience.
I know a lot of people were talking about the pitch in the last game, but for us as players it’s really important that we try to put on a good performance no matter what pitch we’re playing on; there is certainly no excuse from inside the camp.
We want to be adaptable on all surfaces and I think we’ve shown that, we’ve clearly shown that in spinning conditions in the first three games this winter. We have come a long way as a country in terms of our mindset of playing spin and as a spinner it’s nice to watch the ball spin.
I guess the pressure maybe builds up a bit, but I felt I reacted really well to this and enjoyed the challenge. Obviously Ravichandran Ashwin is a great spinner and has a lot of experience playing on these surfaces in cricket test when the last match was only my second in India.
So I think it’s important not to put too much pressure on myself and just enjoy the challenge of being one of the guys who has to take the wickets.
I’m definitely learning as I go. For people watching it might seem like it should be easy to beat teams when the ball is spinning but, trust me, it is not that simple. We play against great spin players and we have to find a way. A ball that goes over the edge is great, but sometimes it’s the ball that doesn’t spin that is most effective. You have to figure these things out and find a way to take wickets on a given area.
As for the pink ball, it’s been a classic batsman and bowler situation the last few days with Zak Crawley and Jimmy Anderson: the batter says he does all kinds of things and the bowler says, “ No, it doesn’t. is not too bad! ”
We had a great session under the lights which started in this twilight period and although I don’t have much experience playing these games day-night I have heard that twilight can be a tough time tear down.
The pink ball has definitely swayed a bit more than the red here and, for now at least, the pitch looks like it has some grass on it. We’re still a few days away from the game, so we’ll have to wait and see – they could cut all that grass and it will be very different.
We want to be adaptable, we feel like we have all the bases covered in our squad, so I think it will be a fascinating test match if the ball moves, and if it does, it could be a role slightly. different for me. . I really thought about it – it will be a different challenge and I will be ready.
If it’s a truer wicket then it will spin less but if it’s like the last Test then no matter what color the ball is, it will spin! The seam remains nice and pronounced so there seems to be a bit of offer for all bowlers.
Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood have now joined the team and it has been great to have them back. They definitely brought energy to the band being back home and having had time to refresh themselves, mentally more than anything else.
We’ve been in a bubble since Jan 2 now, so it’s good when new guys come back. We also had a few coaches who came back to change things up a bit.
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Finally, a problem since moving to Ahmedabad is that the wi-fi is not great. I’m not a gamer and it’s fine for WhatsApp and Netflix so I’m sorted out, but for the boys who love the game, they need a stronger Wi-Fi connection.
Speaking to Stokesy the other day he seems to be a bit of an old wi-fi expert and he used his contacts to get dongles or something to help them – they came to test the strength of the internet and all kinds!
Fortunately, they’ve sorted everything out now so they can continue with their Call of Duty. Crisis avoided!