'It might be something we can use at some point': Jack Leach on emulating Ashley Giles' leg-stump line from 2001 series
- Will we see a repeat of Ashley Giles-like tactics of bowling outside leg-stump to the likes of Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara?
It was former England captain Nasser Hussain, who orchestrated this move of Giles to constantly bowl outside leg-stump. England were criticised of bowling a 'negative line', but Hussain later admitted it was the only way to stop the likes of Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag on a placid surface. Now, 20 years later, England have another left-arm spinner in their ranks in Jack Leach, who will be playing his first Test on Indian soil. Can we see a repeat of those tactics against the likes of Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara?
"It could be, definitely. It's something that we've talked about in Sri Lanka, things like changing our angles and being adaptable within," Leach responded to a query during a virtual press conference.
"It was something he found really helpful bowling over the wicket you know, for him and for his action as well. I mean I prefer to bowl round the wicket. I feel like I've got more dismissals in play and I wouldn't want to change something just because someone else did something and it's about sticking to strengths, but yeah, it might be something we can use at some point for sure."
For all we know, Leach may not even feel the need to emulate Giles. The left-arm spinner is coming off an impressive show in the Test series against Sri Lanka, grabbing a five-wicket haul (5/122) in the first Test and claiming 4/59 in the second. Although India's batting line up is far superior to their Asian neighbours, Leach is pretty psyched to be up against some of the finest Test batsmen of today's generation.
"Just a great opportunity isn't it. They're a quality side, coming on the back off a huge win in Australia. It's a good opportunity to test ourselves against, on paper, the best side in the world. This is my first tour to India, so I'm eager to do well. Been looking at a bit of analysis about the Indian batsmen and we're kind of getting to know how they play," Leach added.