England left-arm spinner Jack Leach came into the four-match India Test series on the back of a good outing against Sri Lanka in the two Tests in Galle. He returned with a haul of 10 wickets in the two matches against the islanders and was full of confidence on the India trip where the first Test was going to set the tone for the entire Test series.
England won the first Test match in Chennai by 227 runs thanks to some brilliant batting from Joe Root, who top-scored in both innings with scores of 218 and 40 in his 100th Test and half-centuries from Ben Stokes, Dom Sibley, and others. Dom Bess shined with the ball, picking four wickets in India’s first innings, while Leach had to contend with figures of 2/105, thanks to Rishabh Pant’s assault.
A Hell Of A Tough Start: Jack Leach
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Jack Leach recounted his experience of bowling in India for the first time ever. Unfortunately, for the left-arm spinner, he ran into a marauding Rishabh Pant who smacked him for six after six, despite Leach bowling into the rough outside Pant’s off-stump. Pant hit as many as 5 sixes, including 3 in over, against Leach, who conceded 77 runs from 8 overs.
“This is my first trip to India and it’s been a hell of a tough start! went through every emotion under the sun in our first Test win and I guess that’s why we love cricket so much. After conceding 77 runs off eight overs on day three I was not sure if I wanted to play cricket again so I’m really proud to have come back and contributed to the team’s victory. Who would have thought the game would feel that hard when you have won by 227 runs?” wrote Leach in his column.
Will Use The Delivery With Which I Got Rohit Sharma Out For Visualization Aid I Future: Jack Leach
However, Jack Leach came back stronger in the second innings, picking up 4/76 to help England bowlers bowl out India for 192 chasing 420 runs to win the first Test match. He also spoke about the delivery with which he got Rohit Sharma out on the evening of day 4.
“As for me, I think I will be using the delivery that removed Rohit Sharma at the end of day four as a visualization aid in future games! It felt good to get a player of that stature out with a decent delivery and the timing was good too, so we did not feel like we had to come back and get 10 wickets on the final day,” added Leach.
He also added that India will definitely be ready with a comeback when the two teams meet each other in the second Test match in Chennai itself, on February 13.
“Given India’s previous recent record at home — 28 wins and five draws from 34 games — we knew we were going to be up against it and the challenge now is to get ourselves fresh and mentally and physically ready for the second Test on Saturday. India are a class team and they will come back fighting, so we have to be ready; it’s important that we keep trying to improve in practice,” Leach added.