Confident Leach keen to kick on

03 March 2021 01:01:36 GMTPlus10

England spinner Jack Leach says his performances in India have given him "a lot of confidence" that he can become a fixture for the Test team.

Leach has claimed 16 wickets - twice as many as any other England bowler - in the first three games of the four-match series, seemingly improving as the series has progressed.

The Somerset spinner has accounted for all of India's top six batsmen at least once and says he feels he has risen to the challenge of bowling to world-class players in their own conditions.

"This series has given me a lot of confidence in general," he told reporters. "The guys you are bowling against are world-class batters and playing them in their own backyard I feel it's a challenging experience.

"I feel like I've stood up to that pretty well and got some good wickets and it is a confidence boost."

Leach was contentiously chosen as England's sole spin option in last week's humbling third-Test defeat inside two days in Ahmedabad as India's three spinners took 19 of England's 20 wickets.

However, it is likely he will be joined by former county team-mate Dom Bess for the fourth and final Test at the same venue as England seek to level the series.

Bess was dropped for Moeen Ali in the second Test in Chennai despite himself taking five wickets in a handsome victory for Joe Root's tourists.

With all-rounder Ali having flown home before last week's defeat, Bess is set for a recall and Leach expects the 22-year-old to be more than ready should he get the nod.

"Dom's worked hard: he's been working hard in the nets and he's a great character, and he will see it as a good learning experience," Leach said. "I'm sure if called upon in this last Test he'll be more than ready to go."

England are 3.75 to win the fourth Test, with India 1.53 to secure a 3-1 series win. The draw is a 7.50 chance.

Leach is 15.00 to be Player of the Match.

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