Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Question And Answer Session With Joe Leach Part Three

New captain Joe Leach has stressed the importance of performing consistently with bat and ball throughout the entire season to give Worcestershire the best chance of achieving their goals in 2017.

The County's all-rounder says producing the goods day in and day out is one of the key qualities required.

Leach is also aware of the need to be firing on all cylinders from April now that the County Championship programme has been reduced to 14 games.

Here the 26-year-old gives his thoughts on the challenges ahead in part three of a Question and Answer session with the Worcestershire CCC website.

QUESTION: A few people cannot understand why you've had no international recognition, are you a bit disappointed yourself?

JOE LEACH: "That is something I've not really thought about to be honest. I know it is easy to say that. Of course, I want to play for England. That's what you grow up wanting to do.

"For now, I'm very excited about taking on this challenge at Worcestershire and that is not a small mind mentality.

"Of course, I want to play for England and the Lions but at the moment I've got a big and exciting job on my hands here and I'm just focused on that."

QUESTION: What are you thoughts on the County Championship 2016. Did you not bowl sides out enough?

JOE LEACH: "That is probably a little bit of a concern in terms of that but we still managed to win six games which no other county topped.

"It is easy to look at the bowling group and say 'we should take more wickets' which I think is fair enough.

"I think as a batting group we need to be more consistent. There were some fantastic individual performances and, if you look at Joe Clarke, he was the only one who managed to sustain that over a full season.

"You'd be looking at some of the other batters to put similar numbers on the board next year and just be consistent across the whole season.

"We either won very well and looked a million dollars or we've lost very badly and looked the complete opposite.

"We need to try and find a bit more consistency as opposed to singling out the batting group or the bowling group or catches or whatever it might be.

"Consistency is the key word."

QUESTION: There were great run chases in the wins over Leicestershire and Northamptonshire at New Road?

JOE LEACH: "That is something I'm sure we will build on.That is in the memory bank now and when it comes to next season, we know we can chase down scores like that or set scores and bowl teams out like Sussex on the last day, really turn teams over like we did with Northants and Leicestershire away.

"We can do all these things. It is just about making sure we do them week in, week out and over a 14 game season.

"We can't have a slow start with it being 14 games. We need to make sure that by the end of May we are in a really good position."

QUESTION: What are your thoughts on playing 14 games and not playing every team twice?

JOE LEACH: "I know it is assymetrical and you might end up with a slightly unlucky draw or a really favourable draw but it doesn't matter.

"If we are the best team in that division, we will beat any team and get promoted and win the division, simple as that."

QUESTION: What were your thoughts on white ball cricket in 2016?

JOE LEACH: "I think we made big strides in the way we played one-day cricket. I thought it was a more modern, fresher approach.

"We've been playing catch-up with a few other teams but I feel we've turned the corner with that now and played good positive, aggressive 50 over cricket and that is something we want to carry on doing.

"We are a very good T20 side. Obviously it was a massive disappointment not to qualify out of the group.

"If you look at where we were after six games, we were probably the most feared team in the country.

"There are certain things to build on but the key word for us as a group is consistency and that is something we wanted to try and install in the group from day one when we come back for pre-season.

"It needs to be a consistent season from April 1 to September 30."

QUESTION: How important will it be to have Tom Fell available for the entire season?

JOE LEACH: "He is a superb player and probably one of the senior batters in the group now.

"He is going to be very important – and it's fantastic we've got him for the whole season – as well as the likes of Joe and Daryl and Brett."