‘We have to be ready’: Leach expects India to fight back in 2nd Test, calls for being ‘mentally & physically’ prepared
England left-arm spinner Jack Leach played a pivotal role in defeating India by 227 runs in the first Test in Chennai. His four-wicket haul in the second innings dismantled the Indian batting as the hosts were bundled up for 192 while chasing a mammoth 442-run target.
After going up 1-0 in the 4-match series, England now gear up for the second Test which begins on Saturday at the same venue. Ahead of the upcoming match, Leach has admitted that the visitors should expect a wounded Indian side to make a strong comeback.
In the latest column on Sky Sports, Leach stated that it’s important that England keep ‘trying to improve in practice’.
“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 wrote.
Leach recalled his spell in the first innings when Rishabh Pant was hammering him all over the park. He stated that it was a moment when he wasn’t sure ‘if he wanted to play cricket again’. But at last, he was happy to contribute to England’s magnificent victory.
“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?
“Thanks for all the support back home - we understand times are hard but we really feel like so many people are behind us and everyone is in our thoughts,” Leach stated.
Leach further expressed how he was inspired by former spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann who led England to 2-1 series victory during the tour of India in 2012.
“Indian cricket has a rich tradition, producing some of the greatest players to have ever played the game, so it has always been an aspiration of mine to play here. Watching Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar help bowl England to victory in 2012 was hugely inspirational and so it's very exciting to be part of this series,” Leach wrote.