Five potential replacements for spinner Jack Leach in England's Ashes Test squad

Left-armer has been ruled out of five-match series due to stress fracture

England's Jack Leach has been ruled out of the Ashes series due to injury. Reuters
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England's plans for the upcoming Ashes series were left in disarray after left-arm spinner Jack Leach was ruled out of the five-match series due to a stress fracture in his back.

Leach was the only front-line spinner named in England's squad for the first two Tests, having emerged as a crucial cog in the team's red-ball team that enjoyed unprecedented success over the past year.

But Leach's injury has put a spanner in the works. With the dearth of top-quality red-ball spinners in the country, Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have limited options when it comes to choosing slow bowlers.

They can go one of three ways – select non-established names, bring back players not in the Test fold any more, or go ahead without a front-line spinner and bowl a part-timer instead.

There is a school of thought that if England are unwilling to try out fresh names in the Ashes, they could go with Joe Root as a spin option and play an all-seam attack.

Even so, there will most likely be a spinner in the squad. Here we take a look at five spin bowlers who could replace Leach.

Rehan Ahmed

The teenage leg spinner is a wild-card entry. He made his debut in Karachi against Pakistan late last year and picked up seven wickets in a hugely impressive win. His leg-spinners and googlies are as good as any in the country, but his lack of experience means England might not get the control they were guaranteed from Leach.

Will Jacks

Off-spinner who offers control, plus can bat. Picked up six wickets on debut against Pakistan, but his off spin has not developed to Test level yet. England might be wary of picking him in the XI, especially since Root offers so much with the bat while being capable of holding his own as an off spinner.

Liam Dawson

A like-for-like replacement for Leach, the left-arm spinner has vast experience of first-class cricket and is more than capable of holding one end up with the ball. Has played Test cricket before, albeit only three times, so should not be too daunted by the prospect of an Ashes series. At 33, is at the perfect age where spinners know their game inside out.

Moeen Ali

The all-rounder has given up on red-ball cricket but there is always the temptation to bring him back into the fold, especially for emergencies like this. There is no doubt about his batting abilities, while he has also won Test matches on English wickets with his bowling – just ask India. It might take some hard negotiations, but well worth it.

Dom Bess

The all-rounder has played 14 Tests, and is a decent off spinner and batsman. His batting abilities could be used lower down the order, but questions remain if his bowling can stand up to scrutiny.

Updated: June 05, 2023, 11:23 AM