ALL-rounder Joe Leach admits he is relishing being back in Worcestershire’s LV= County Championship side and determined to produce the consistency which he feels a lack of cost him a spot in the first place.
Leach scored his maiden Championship century against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham last July.
But, by his own admission, his form tailed off during the final weeks of 2013 and he found himself captaining the seconds in the early weeks of this season.
Leach says he was “determined to put pressure on” to regain his place and he also worked hard to improve his bowling skills.
Gareth Andrew’s back injury meant his successful combination with Jack Shantry and Charlie Morris was temporarily curtailed and it was Leach who got the nod from Worcestershire’s director of cricket Steve Rhodes.
He responded with a career best 5-36 against Kent at Tunbridge Wells and has slotted into the disciplined way of bowling, which has been this season’s trademark, in addition to making useful runs batting in the lower order.
Leach said: “When I got that hundred at Cheltenham, I proved to myself there that I could cut it at this level.
“Now it is just about rolling out those kind of performances more consistently.
“Consistency is what it is all about and that’s probably why I lost my place in the side, if I’m honest. I tailed off a bit towards the end of last year.
“I went back into the seconds and it was all about personal motivation to do well and get back into the team.
“Obviously I had to knock the door down with the way the boys have been performing. I was determined to try to put pressure on.
“I don’t think anyone wants to play second team cricket really – and if they do, they probably shouldn’t be here or be playing professional sport.
“Luckily the opportunity came. I felt sorry for Gazza (Andrew) obviously, but from a personal point of view it’s nice to be playing.”