Jack Leach not playing: England have opted for an all-pace bowling attack for the first international match of this summer.
During the first day of the first Test of the ongoing New Zealand’s tour of England at Lord’s, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has won the toss and chose to bat on a wicket which should favour the batsmen especially due to the prevailing weather conditions.
“There’s always a few things to consider here. Looks like a reasonable surface. [Preparation] It’s been mixed in terms of the weather. Guys have been working really hard. The focus is on this series. We know how strong this England side is. It’s about trying to stick to our plans as best we can,” Williamson told Sky Sports Cricket at the toss.
As far as their combination is concerned, New Zealand have handed debut to batsman Devon Conway and included a couple of all-rounders in Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner. The development means that all-rounder Daryl Mitchell will have to wait for his chance despite scoring a century in his last Test.
Test Mode 🔛!
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) June 2, 2021
Why is Jack Leach not playing Lord’s Test vs New Zealand?
Unlike New Zealand, England will take the field with a four-man pace attack which has no place for spinner Jack Leach. While captain Joe Root didn’t provide any rationale behind Leach’s omission, an extra layer of grass on the surface hints at why the hosts have played four specialists pacers.
“We would have batted as well but we have an opportunity to make use of some fresh green grass on that wicket. It’s great to have a crowd in – really special for everyone involved. Jack Leach misses out and we’re going to play four seamers,” Root told Sky Sports Cricket at the toss.
In addition to wicket-keeper batsman James Bracey, England have also handed a debut to fast bowler Ollie Robinson. The development has resulted in more wait for the likes of Olly Stone and Craig Overton.
In the five matches that he’s played for Sussex in County Championship 2021, Robinson has picked 29 wickets at an average and strike rate of 14.72 and 35.3 respectively. Overall, Robinson’s 279 wickets in 63 first-class matches have come at 21.04 and 42.30.