The Ashes: Jack Leach should have played for England years ago… Moeen Ali has become unselectable, says Graeme Swann – The Sun

JACK LEACH should have been playing for England years ago.

He’s a great cricketer who has taken a lot of wickets for Somerset over the years and it’s his time.


I like Jack in the team. He’s a good bowler, a good cricketer, a lovely lad and a student of the game.
I want to wish him good luck. I’ve always liked him.

There was a time when he wasn’t picked to go on tour because there was a rumour he only took wickets when it turned, which amazes me.

Fancy picking a spinner who takes wickets when it spins! There is no reason why he can’t do it.

It’s definitely right that Moeen Ali doesn’t play. He had to be dropped, he had become unselectable.

You can see he is a shell of his former shelf when he goes out to play. He doesn’t relish the pressure of performance on him.

Nathan Lyon has got the rub on him when he goes out with the bat in his hand because he is a walking wicket.

A player as good as Moeen at all forms of cricket should not have such a glaring weakness.

I knew as a bowler when someone was walking into bat that I was going to get them out straight away.

Mentally he needs a break. His bowling was flat; it had no verve, no zip about it.

It’s a brilliant feeling for a bowler and for the field. You know a wicket is coming.

The batsman gets teased, almost bullied in the middle. You know it’s going to happen.

You become a laughing stock and that’s not right for Mo. Mentally he needs a break.

That’s gone into his bowling as well. His bowling was flat; it had no verve, no zip about it.

At Lord’s, I always bowled from the Nursery End to turn the ball up the slope because if you’re spinning the ball, it doesn’t need the hill to make it turn.

When you’re batting and you’ve the ball spinning down the hill towards you, it’s very easy to play spin.

Everything comes down and it doesn’t tend to spin violently.

Bowling from the other end, I found I could get it to bounce and spit out of the foot-holes.

It was brilliant bowling to left-handers too because I used to get lots of LBWs with the ball going down the slope.

CUT ABOVE

People obsess about the problems the hill causes bowlers but I don’t know why. I always loved bowling there!

We talked about the fact we had not won an Ashes Test against Australia at Lord’s for ages at the time.

I was lucky as it was my first Ashes Test at Lord’s.

I had only played there once before for England against the West Indies a few weeks before and done really well.

We sat down on the outfield talking about it saying ‘how are we going to do it, what’s different?’

I came up with the theory that every other team comes to England and that’s the Test match they look forward to.

You get inspired by the place. It’s incredible, it’s got an eerie quality about it. You can almost hear the history and smell and taste the history of the place.

Trust me, everything about it is better than any cricket ground around in the world.

From the moment you turn up, the quality of the finish, the outfield, the wicket, the pavilion. It’s a cut above. Every foreign team thrives on it.

It’s like going into a six-star hotel; you just dive on to the bed and roll around in the pillows.

They absolutely love it and I just said, ‘look why are we taking it for granted?'

‘We should be doing this, we should be staring at the stands and looking at all the pictures. Let’s get inspired ourselves by this’.

We won that game. I’m not taking all the credit for that but it helped and I did take the last wicket!

*For more from Betfair Ambassador Graeme Swann head to the website…

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