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West Indies v England

Michael Vaughan: Jack Leach is technically better than most of England’s top order

Michael Vaughan: Jack Leach Is Technically Better Than Most Of England’s Top Order
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has heaped praise on Jack Leach for his batting heroics against West Indies, and feels England’s senior batters could learn something from their tail-end teammate.

Leach helped script a brave rearguard on day one of the third West Indies-England Test, with England recovering from 67-7 and 114-9 to post 204. His partnership with Saqib Mahmood resides near the top of several lists for last-wicket stands, with England’s innings just the second in Test history in which the two top scores came from Nos.10 and 11.

The pair put on England’s second longest last-wicket stand, in terms of balls faced.


“He maximises every ounce of ability that he has,” Vaughan said on BT Sport. “He works so hard at the game, but it’s his mind, I just like the way he works out a situation. But technically, I think he’s better than most of the top order. Look at the way he’s playing here, look at his eyes, look at his head position, right over his front pad. Look at how late he’s playing that ball.”

Leach has earned praise for his batting before, sparing England’s blushes with a 92 as nightwatchman-opener against Ireland, and making the most famous 1* in cricketing history to allow Ben Stokes to complete a miracle Ashes win at Headingley.

With England’s batters having struggled in general since the start of 2021 – their first innings struggles marked the seventh occasion in that time that they have been seven down with 100 or fewer runs on the board – Vaughan suggested they look to Leach for a lesson in how to approach batting in tricky conditions.

“When the ball’s moving around you have two options: you can either be ultra-aggressive and hit the bowler of his length, which is very very risky, or you play the Jack Leach method,” he said. “You look at Joe Root here, he loses his balance outside his crease. You look at Alex Lees, again going towards the ball outside his crease. You go back to Jack Leach and how far he was back on his stumps.

“The Jack Leach method is the method I would prefer to see, if it’s in your DNA, on this kind of wicket. You look at Jack Leach, how late the interception points are, right back on his stumps, right under his eyeline. All the other England players, they are going at the ball, they are creating momentum with their hands towards the ball. I think – I’m not saying they should do it now – but a lot of the England batters in that top order, if they want to have success and be consistent against the moving ball, they ought to follow a bit of Jack.”

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