'Nothing to lose': Leach ready for potential Smith battle
England's left-arm spinner sees only upside as he prepares for the daunting task of trying to bring Steve Smith undone
12 August 2019, 03:33 AM AEST
Jack Leach admitted on Sunday that he has "nothing to lose" after the England spinner was called up for the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord's.
Leach is in contention to start in the clash on Wednesday after replacing fellow spin bowler Moeen Ali in the squad following his team's first Test thrashing at Edgbaston, and he is ready to play with no fear after his earlier than expected role in the series.
"It feels like I've got nothing to lose and a lot to gain," Leach said on BBC radio programme Sportsweek.
"I just want to go and do my thing."
Leach will be key to the task of containing batting star Steve Smith, who scored a century in both Aussie innings last time out to help his side to a 251-run victory over England.
The 28-year-old's last appearance at Lord's earlier this summer saw him score 92 as a nightwatchman as England overcame a dismal first innings to beat Ireland in an Ashes warm-up.
But this week all the focus will be on his bowling as England hope he can be the man to crack Smith.
One of approx 1000 balls for Steve Smith in the nets today #Ashes pic.twitter.com/NwqgBC035p— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) August 11, 2019
"There has been a focus on his supposed weakness against left-arm spin," he said.
"I suppose those stats are there but I've just got to - if I'm in the 11 - I've got to do my thing and bowl as well as I can and see what happens.
"It's the same for every batter. I want to get every batter out. Yes, there's Steve Smith but there's 10 other guys as well and I'll be focusing on all of them."
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Second Test: August 14-18,Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval