SOMERSET County Cricket Club head coach Jason Kerr was “not surprised” to see Jack Leach bounce back from adversity during England’s victory over India this week.

Leach had taken a battering from Rishabh Pant during the hosts’ first innings of the first Test in Chennai, but it’s fair to say the Somerset spinner had the last laugh on this occasion.

READ MORE: Anderson and Leach fire England to famous win in India

With England having posted 578 all out and India reduced to 73-4 in reply, Pant took an aggressive approach, scoring nine fours and five sixes in a brutal knock of 91 off 88 balls.

Leach took much of the punishment, sitting on figures of 0-100 when he was brought back into the attack by Joe Root.

The left-armer soon repaid his captain’s show of faith, dismissing Ravichandran Ashwin and Shahbaz Nadeem to end up with 2-105 off 25 overs.

Leach went on to bowl significantly more overs than any other England bowler - 26, with James Anderson (11) the next busiest - in India’s second innings, and his return of 4-76 helped the tourists wrap up a 227-run victory that puts them 1-0 up in the four-match series.

Scores of 14* and 8* with the bat contributed to what was a job well done by the 29-year-old.

That Leach seemed to grow in confidence during the match, adapting well to the conditions, will not shock anyone who has followed his progress closely.

Even before his England career had properly begun, doubts were raised about the legality of his bowling action in 2016.

Having remodelled his action, his England hopes were set back again when he sustained a broken thumb in 2018, allowing former Somerset team-mate Dom Bess to jump ahead of him in the queue.

Back on England duty in New Zealand in 2019, Leach contracted sepsis, and further illness forced him to fly home from South Africa early in 2020.

When you add all this to his being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 14, it’s no exaggeration to say that Leach has had more than his fair share of setbacks.

And just as he’s bounced back from those, he responded to Pant’s barrage of boundaries in the best way possible this week.

Reflecting on Leach’s resilience, Kerr told the County Gazette: “I’m not surprised.

“Jack’s first innings figures were expensive, but I thought he bowled well throughout the match - it’s just that Pant batted very well.

“To see Jack get the rewards is great, and it will give him huge confidence.

“He was put under pressure but responded brilliantly, and to contribute to a major win for England will only give him more confidence.”

Leach will hope to retain his place in the England team for the second Test, which begins this coming Saturday, again in Chennai.

And, should he play, some more wickets from the spinner will be celebrated just as they were this week - with some cracking artwork!

Leach's wickets in the first Test prompted Somerset CCC to show off some of the pictures drawn by the club's youngest fans...

One of Leach's team-mates also got involved!

Now the question is: is Max Waller a better bowler, fielder or illustrator?