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Jack’s remarkable week

It’s certainly been a week that Jack Leach will remember for a long time.

The Somerset spinner celebrated his birthday, claimed his first five-wicket haul on home soil, claimed 10 wickets in a Test match, was awarded the player of the match award and played a huge role in England’s 3-0 series whitewash over a much-fancied New Zealand side.

We caught up with him this morning to get his reaction to what has been a memorable few days.

“I was presented with a special cap for my 25th Test match and the day before that it was my birthday,” he explained. “To then go and get five wickets in the first innings was pretty special. To be a part of such a special win was also great.

“As a spinner, you feel like you’ll come into things more in the second innings. The wicket was pretty dry and I managed to stick in there in the first innings. I managed to mop up the tail in the second innings and that just felt great. I owed a lot to the seamers. They kept running in at the other end and Pottsy bowled really well. I think he deserved to get five wickets as well.

“10 wickets in a Test match is definitely right up there with my career highlights. It’s something I’ve been working really hard towards. Things have been a bit up and down recently and I really wanted a big performance with the ball to prove to myself that I can do it at that level. It’s a performance that I’m very proud of and one that I want to build on.

“I think I had a bit of a point to prove to other people, but also to myself. I’ve had a bit of a change in mindset with regards to looking to attack, and Stokesy and the other guys have helped me with that. I think that went a long way to helping me do what I did in this game. I just want to build on that now, keep learning and keep putting in performances that help England win matches. The most important thing is to be contributing to a team that’s winning. To win 3-nil against a very strong New Zealand side was a great effort and shows exactly what we’re capable of.”

Have things changed much under the new England regime?

“Brendon has definitely made an impact. He’s an impressive individual and I’ve really enjoyed working with him so far. I think the biggest change has been the mindset. Brendan and Stokesy are keen for guys to just realise their potential, believe in themselves and show exactly how good they are. There haven’t been any big changes really, just a few subtle things. They’ve made it very clear what they want from us.”

Has Jack been keeping an eye on Somerset’s progress in the Vitality Blast whilst he’s been away on international duty?

“Definitely,” he said. “The boys are going really well in the competition at the moment, and it’s been a great T20 campaign so far. It’s been exciting to watch and hopefully we can end the group stage strongly. To get a home quarter-final would be great for us and for the Members and supporters.

“I think back to the Lancashire quarter-final last year and what a special night that was. The T20 side is in really good shape at the moment and playing some good cricket. Hopefully, we can go one better than last year and bring that trophy home.”

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