Cricket Expert & Columnist
Jack Leach has chance to prove his worth for England on day five, says Michael Atherton
"He'll have a fair amount of bowling to do tomorrow and that'll be good because England need to find a spinner, we can have a look at Leach - it's only his first game so expectations should be tempered but it's a good chance for him to show what he can do."
Last Updated: 02/04/18 10:34pm
Michael Atherton says he has been impressed by Jack Leach's approach on his Test debut and believes the England left-arm spinner has a good opportunity to prove his worth as the tourists push for victory on day five in Christchurch...
I'm always quite interested to listen to how players talk in press conferences and in front of the media in their first appearance because it gives you an insight into the type of people they are, how confident they are - some struggle but Jack Leach didn't.
He spoke really well about the challenges he's faced and had to overcome when his action was deemed to be a little suspect up at Loughborough. He talked interestingly about watching Nathan Lyon down under and what he learnt from that.
I just got a sense that here was a guy who knows what he's about, he's ambitious, he talked about trying to improve his batting and his fielding and other aspects of his game which are important, no matter how good a bowler you are, so I was quite impressed by him.
You get an insight into how intelligent a guy is, what he's thinking about the game, the difficulties that he's come through. It's always a good thing when you're picking a guy who has been through a fair bit because I think resilience and character are important when you play.
It doesn't matter to me how well they answer the questions but you just get an insight into how a person's mind works and I just got a sense that this was a guy who was determined to make the most of his chance.
As soon as Leach came on just before tea, he landed two right in where Stuart Broad has been following through and a couple spun, they'll be bounce as well. It wasn't huge spin but there is a little bit there to encourage him.
I think he'll have a fair amount of bowling to do tomorrow and that'll be good because England need to find a spinner, we can have a look at Leach - it's only his first game so expectations should be tempered but it's a good chance for him to show what he can do.
There was also quite an interesting insight into the English mentality tonight, Leach bowled one over before tea, a couple spun and he looked threatening. He ran up to try and get a second over in, couldn't and they went off for tea.
Then when they came back it was James Anderson and Stuart Broad again. Now I'm not saying that was the wrong thing to do because the clouds were low and you've got two great opening bowlers there.
But the Indian mentality would be if you see a couple turn like that, where's your threat? It was just an interesting insight into the differences sides have.
Watch day five of the second Test between New Zealand and England from 10.30pm, Tuesday on Sky Sports Cricket.