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Jack Leach replaces injured Mason Crane in England Test squad

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Jack Leach has earned his first senior call-up to the England Test side for the upcoming two-Test series against New Zealand as a replacement for the injured Mason Crane.

The news is a hammer blow for Crane, who had just been given his first opportunity in the final Ashes Test of the winter, but will now have to spend some time on the sidelines due to a stress fracture in his back.

However, many have felt Somerset spinner Leach has been particularly unfortunate to still be waiting for a potential Test debut, but he may now get the opportunity to showcase his skills at international level for the first time.

20-year-old Crane made his Test debut and will have wanted to kick on in New Zealand

Leach has an outstanding record in the County Championship, having taken 185 wickets in 54 matches since his first-class debut in 2012 for Cardiff MCCU, including 116 in the past two seasons alone.

He was the key figure as Somerset finished as runners-up in the 2016 County Championship Division One title race, losing out to Middlesex by four points in a season where Leach claimed 65 dismissals at an average of 21.87.

Leach played during England’s Ashes tour matches, but did not make the final Test squad

Following that season there came the likelihood that Leach would go on England’s winter 2016 tour of India, but concerns were voiced about his action and the 26-year-old was not selected, instead spending most of the time tweaking his bowling method.

Following another impressive season in 2017 Leach was overlooked for England’s Ashes squad, with the selectors taking him on the England Lions tour instead, where he excelled in three ‘Tests’ against the West Indies A side, taking 18 wickets.

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