“Thought I was playing in the IPL!” – Jack Leach on Rishabh Pant mauling

Jack Leach admitted he didn’t enjoy being targeted by Rishabh Pant in the 1st innings of the England Test. The left-arm spinner conceded that he was reminded of the IPL after being hit for a few sixes by Pant.

The 1st innings battle between Rishabh Pant and Jack Leach was one of India’s more memorable moments from Chennai. The left-hander hit Jack Leach for 5 sixes on his way to an impressive 91, with the spinner conceding 77 runs in 8 overs at one stage.

Jack Leach confessed Rishabh Pant’s assault impacted him, sharing how he struggled to cope with it after the day’s play.

“Thought I was playing in the IPL! It was definitely a challenge. As a spinner, you got to expect that at times. But I’m never going to enjoy 8 overs for 80. So, it’s just about trying to stay strong and the boys really helped me out. It was a tough evening but I just wanted to come out stronger in the last 2 days.”

After struggling in the first innings, Jack Leach played a starring role in the second. He picked up 4 wickets in the second innings, getting the crucial wickets of Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara.

The left-arm spinner seemed to have learned from his mistakes in the first innings. Leach used the bounce to great effect, relying on the new ball’s hardness to trouble the Indian batsman. Ending his first Test in India with match figures of 6/181, Jack Leach was satisfied with his efforts.

“This is my first time in India. They’ve got a great batting line-up and I sort of knew the pressure that comes with it. Really happy to get some wickets and help the boys over the line,” he said.

Jack Leach was asked whether the Sri Lanka tour helped him prepare for the India series. Jack Leach picked up 10 wickets across 2 games in Sri Lanka in similar conditions, bowling more than 110 overs. He admitted the experience helped him get up to speed after a long break.

“It was really important. I had a long time without any cricket. So for me, it was about those overs and getting used to bowling long spells in the heat. It was very worthwhile. I still feel I’m getting back to my best,” Jack Leach said.

After his strong showing in the first Test, Jack Leach will go into the second Test high on confidence. Along with Dominic Bess, the left-arm spinner will play a crucial role in turning Indian tracks in the coming weeks.

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