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Hussain wants Leach to be given a few more opportunities; wants spinner to also add variations

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London, June 21 (Ajit Weekly News) Former England skipper Nasser Hussain has said that despite the 30-year-old left-arm spinner Jack Leach going through a lean patch, he should be given a few more opportunities before new Test coach Brendon McCullum looks at alternatives like Moeen Ali.

Leach has had a tough start this summer, having had to sit out for most of the opening Test at Lord’s after suffering concussion while fielding. While he retained his place in the side for the Trent Bridge Test, Leach had meagre pickings of 3/226 at an average of 75.33.

Hussain felt that Leach should get at least the next two Tests — the third game against New Zealand and the rescheduled Test against India — before a call is taken to bring in someone else.

“Any English spinner playing at home has my sympathy. The first two Test pitches (against New Zealand) this season have not offered them much and that is typical of how it is these days,” Hussain opined in his column for Daily Mail.

“For long periods of a Test in England, the spinner fills a holding role and it can almost be like England are taking on the opposition with 10 players. The spinner might only come into home Tests later. Headingley, where the series against New Zealand finishes, is no exception. It can be flat and the spinner has the containing role before it starts to do a bit by day four,” said Hussain.

Hussain said that while it looked certain that Leach will be in the playing XI for the third Test, he also demanded the spinner to bring in some more variations in his bowling.

“…Having said he has my sympathy, the one thing he does have to develop is that over-spin and drop on the ball, coupled with variations in pace to deceive the batter before it lands. He was brought up on turning pitches in Taunton – and I have no problem with turning pitches – but he only had to jab the ball in at a certain pace and the pitch would do all the work.

“But get on a flat surface and you have to deceive, as (Graeme) Swann learned to do when he moved from the turning pitches of Northamptonshire to Trent Bridge.”

Citing the example of one of the most successful spinners, Nathan Lyon, Hussain said the Australian is able to get copious amount of over-spin and drop, which has helped him through his illustrious career.

“Look at Nathan Lyon. He bowls on flat pitches in Australia with a Kookaburra ball but he gets a lot of over-spin and drop so that when batters try to get forward the length can be a bit shorter than they think and they can get into trouble.”

–Ajit Weekly News

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