JASON Gillespie has hailed the rapid development of Jack Leaning after his maiden hundred for Yorkshire in Monday’s Royal London One-Day Cup defeat to Essex at Scarborough.
Although Leaning, 20, has debuted in all forms of first-team cricket prior to 2014, he has cemented a place in the LV= County Championship and one-day teams through a weight of runs this summer.
He has scored 304 from six Championship matches with three fifties, including a 99 against Sussex at Arundel, and has added 219 from six one-day matches ahead of today’s Group A clash against Derbyshire at Scarborough.
Leaning is the Vikings’ leading run-scorer in that competition thanks to one fifty and Monday’s ton – a 99-ball unbeaten 111.
This has all come after a winter spent playing for Australian grade side Sutherland under the watchful eye of Phil Jaques, who is nicknamed Pro.
“At the start of the season, I had an idea of what the team was going to be and Jack has demanded his selection through his performances in the second team,” said coach Gillespie.
“He’s got his opportunity – grabbed it with both hands, and that’s all you can ask of players. He’s been fantastic, and hopefully he’ll continue to improve and learn every time he goes out in the middle.
“I think it really helped that he spent the winter playing for Sutherland, and he spent a lot of time with Phil Jaques. So much so, the boys call him Pro now.
“There is pressure being the overseas player and being expected to score runs. He actually didn’t score that many, but he was getting wickets.”
Jonny Bairstow will be rested today after England Lions duty, meaning Andrew Hodd will retain the gloves as Yorkshire search for the win that will secure a quarter-final berth.