Jack Leach conceded he is keen to learn from Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel after the duo’s stellar performances against England. The England left-arm spinner admitted the success of Indian spinners has caused him to do a bit of ‘soul-searching’.
India’s spin duo have been a big reason behind India’s comeback in the Test series. Ravichandran Ashwin is the leading wicket-taker in the series with 24 scalps. Axar Patel has also made a roaring start to his Test career, picking up 18 wickets in his first two games.
In his column for Sky Sports, Jack Leach wrote how he is eager to learn a few tricks from Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.
“When you see players having so much success, like Ravichandran Ashwin, who has just got to 400 Test wickets and has a lot of experience in India, and Axar Patel, who has had a great start to Test cricket, of course, you try to learn from them.”
Ravichandran Ashwin’s performances against England saw him become the second-fastest bowler to take 400 Test wickets. The 34-year-old has performed admirably in all games and is set to end the series as the leading wicket-taker.
While expanding on what he wants to learn from Ravichandran Ashwin, Jack Leach praised the latter for his subtle changes in seam position.
“Ashwin is very clever in how he changes his seam position; he’ll bowl to the same spot but the way it gets there and whether it hits the seam or hits the lacquer varies and the ball reacts very differently.”
Axar Patel in Test cricket:
18 wickets from 4 innings. pic.twitter.com/dSz1jjUMLG
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) February 25, 2021
Jack Leach also talked about why Axar Patel has had such a great time against England. Despite never playing a Test for India before, Axar Patel has bamboozled the English batsmen with his speed and accuracy.
The left-arm spinner has performed Ravindra Jadeja’s role to a tee, with his quicker deliveries directed at the stumps being particularly difficult to navigate. Jack Leach was mindful of the same, saying Axar Patel’s seam position has helped him succeed.
“Then Axar is someone who seems to present every ball the same, a squarish seam, then a few skid on and the odd one grips – that has been so effective on the wickets we’ve played on.”
Although Jack Leach credited India’s spin duo for their impressive performances, he was mindful of how there are limits to what he can learn from them.
“We got outplayed in the third Test, India bowled really well and, as a spinner, I’ve been doing a bit of soul-searching. It’s important not to look at it too emotionally though and think ‘I just want to bowl exactly like them!’. Ashwin is right-arm, for a start, so I’m not going to bowl like him! Even Axar, he’s a left-arm spinner, but he’s taller than me – I can’t change my height!”