With less than a week until the Ashes, Jack Leach has discovered that it is becoming a curse to be an England bowler. Leach’s absence for the entire five-Test series, commencing at Edgbaston on June 16, leaves England with a shortage of spinners and without the services of their finest modest slow bowlers.
Australia eliminated paceman Josh Hazlewood from the World Championship final against India at the Oval starting on Wednesday in order to save him for the Ashes, which resulted to the defeat. Hazlewood is likely to be replaced by Scott Boland.
If England are to continue their attacking, gung-ho approach in the “Bazball” era they could opt for 18-year-old leg-spinning sensation Rehan Ahmed as a replacement for Leach.
Youngest man to play Test cricket for England
He became the youngest man to play Test cricket for England on his debut in Karachi last December. In his only Test, he claimed a pivotal 5-48 in the second innings to finish with seven wickets for the match.
However, people still consider him raw, and there are concerns about the way the Australians attack spinners, causing Jack Leach to suffer at times. A recall for Moeen Ali is another option. Ali’s last Test match was in September 2021 against India at the Oval.
There was some good news for England on the bowling front, with debutant paceman Josh Tongue claiming 5-66 in the second innings of England’s 10-wicket victory over Ireland on Sunday.
The selectors preferred Tongue over Lord’s specialist Chris Woakes, choosing him as a replacement for the injured pair Jimmy Anderson (groin) and Ollie Robinson (ankle). Woakes boasts an average of 61.2 with the bat and 11.3 with the ball in five Tests at the ground. Tongue had never played at Lord’s.
Jofra Archer is out of the entire Test summer due to a recurrence of the stress-fracture of his right elbow, while Olly Stone is out until at least the third Ashes Test with a hamstring injury. Additional pace options, Jamie Overton and Brydon Carse, are unavailable due to their injuries.