Root reveals reasons for strange England tactics after shining ball on Leach's head

By Sports Desk December 03, 2022

Joe Root has explained why he shined the ball on Jack Leach's head during day three of England's first Test against Pakistan, where a late flurry of wickets shifted momentum in the tourists' favour.

England ended day three of the first Test needing just three wickets to bring the hosts' first innings to a close, with Babar Azam's side on 499-7, still 158 runs behind.

Having laboured to stop Pakistan from chipping away at their lead, England struck late through Will Jacks, James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, taking four wickets in just over 20 overs.

But it was footage of Root rubbing the ball over Leach's head during the day that caught the eye of spectators and now the former captain has spoken out on his strange tactic.

"You've got to get some moisture in it somehow, some weight to try to get it to move around on a placid wicket like that," he stated.

"A nice sweaty, bald head like Jack's is perfect for it. You can see it sat there on his head. He's more than just a pretty face Jack, he is very useful in lots of ways."

Leach, a folk hero among England fans for his role in their famed Headingley comeback against Australia in 2019, has posted figures of 2-160 from 42 overs so far in Rawalpindi.

Despite the cost however, his efforts helped lay the platform for his side's closing flurry, with Root hopeful they can push on over the final two days.

"All the hard work we put in, we got our just rewards," he added. "We had to be quite creative, try to do things differently and think outside the box."

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