David “Bumble” Lloyd has a way with words. And sometimes he makes his point using as few words as is possible and still drives home the message. Take, for instance, his assessment of England’s defeat in Bangladesh at the weekend. On Twitter he offered this advice: “And finally 2 words …..Jack Leach”
And, judging by the likes and retweets, a lot of people agree with the Lancastrian with many calling for Leachy to be included in the England squad that heads to India this winter.
There was a large amount of surprise that Leach wasn’t included in the squad for Bangladesh having taken 65 wickets in the County Championship this season. Surrey pair Gareth Batty and Zafar Ansari were selected instead even though the two gathered 64 wickets between them, one less than Leachy. Somerset fans do not like Batty – let’s get that straight – but the selection of a 38 year-old ahead of a player that many call the best spinner in England with his best years ahead of him was indeed one that was always going to be controversial.
And the selection of Ansari carries questions. Yes the Surrey all-rounder offers much more with the bat than Leach but you would be singled out for ridicule if you suggested that Ansari offered any match for Jack’s bowling abilities.
But Leachy is taking everything in his stride and has a tour with the England Lions to look forward to which will form another important part of his international development. Talking to Cricbuzz he said: “I’m also patient with it and I know I’ve got a lot more developing to do. I look to someone like Graeme Swann, who came in a little bit later but then still had a great career with England. I’ve still got time on my hands, I’m 25 and there’s a big chance to play international cricket, but all in good time.”
And, as we witnessed on Sunday afternoon, spinners win matches. Bangladesh employed the services of an 18 year-old called Mehedi Hasan and he showed that if you are good enough then you are old enough. Let’s hope England see the error of their ways.