Boys helped me stay strong: Jack Leach on comeback after Pant hammering

Jack Leach, who was taken to the task by a belligerent Pant on the third day, shone bright when the hosts came out to bat again.

England’s left-arm spinner Jack Leach on Tuesday said his teammates helped him stay strong and make a comeback after the hammering he received from Rishabh Pant during the opening Test win against India.

Riding on Leach (4/76) and James Anderson’s (3/17) fine bowling, England crushed India by 227 runs on Tuesday to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

Leach, who was taken to the task by a belligerent Pant on the third day, shone bright when the hosts came out to bat again.

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“Thought he (Pant) was playing in the IPL. It’s a challenge that comes for a spinner. Was a tough evening that one but boys helped me stay strong,” Leach said after the match.

Coming from the extremely cold England, it wasn’t easy to get acclimatised to the humid conditions in this part of the world.

“Had a long time without any cricket (before the Sri Lanka series). It was about bowling those long overs in the heat.

“My first time in India. They have a great batting lineup and I knew the pressure that comes with it. Happy to take some wickets and get the boys over the line,” the 29-year-old spinner added at the end of the fifth and final day’s play.

Set a world record 420-run target to go one up in the rubber on the fifth day, India were bowled out for 192 in the second session after captain Virat Kohli’s 72 off 104 balls on a challenging MA Chidambaram surface.

India began the day at 39 for one, needing 381 runs on the last day.

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