Jack Leach not considered for selection because of his action

Jack Leach not considered for selection because of his action

Jack Leach of England Lions
Jack Leach of England Lions. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

As England face the prospect of a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of India, the England team management will be thinking what tactics to employ to change their fortunes in the longest format of the game. They have been pathetic in the recent past and their inability to play spin has been evident in their last three series against Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.

England spinners haven’t been as potent as their Indian counterparts and apart from a few good spells here and there they have received serious treatment from the Indian batsmen. After Zafar Ansari was ruled out of the series due to an injury Somerset left-arm spinner Jack Leach’s name came into the fray for national selection but was eventually not considered for a call-up because of concerns about his bowling action.

Liam Dawson, another rookie left-arm spinner was picked instead. “The timing is convenient because they are getting stick for their selection,” said ex-England spinner Vic Marks.

“Why would it come out now. Is there an element of covering one’s backside?” added Marks as quoted by the BBC.

Leach was the leading Championship wicket-taker in 2016, more than any other English spinner. Despite his consistent performances, he was overlooked for the series against Bangladesh with a routine test at England’s national performance center suggesting that his action might breach the 15 degrees limit for straightening of the elbow.

“I was stunned when I heard it,” said former Somerset captain Marks. “It just hasn’t occurred to me that there was any problem at all. He looked to have a classic, orthodox action.

“However, it is hard to argue with the computer or camera.”

His action though had no bearing with the original touring party but did prevent him from being called up as a replacement for the injured Ansari. Dawson has been impressive in his debut Test, scoring a fluent half-century and taking 2/129 in 43 overs.

“It nags at me how come this has just come out,” said Marks who represented England in 6 Tests. “I don’t like that it’s come out after England have just gone for 759, with people rumbling about why he isn’t here.”

Leach has been part of the England Lions squad for the matches against UAE and Afghanistan and will tour Sri Lanka early next year.