SOMERSET County Cricket Club's new captain Tom Abell said Jack Leach “will come back a better bowler” after speculation emerged on Tuesday about his bowling action being behind his non-selection for England's tour of India.

Abell, 22, was unveiled as the club’s new four-day captain yesterday, describing it as a “very proud day” and “huge privilege”, adding that it had been his “dream to play for the club, so to be captain is very special”.

Naturally the new skipper was asked about left-arm spinner Leach, the day after reports appeared that doubts about the legality of his action, flagged up in routine tests at the England and Wales Cricket Board’s national performance centre, had prevented him replacing the injured Zafar Ansari in the England Test squad.

Since then, Leach has played for England Lions against the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan – taking five wickets – while undergoing remedial work in the Lions training camp.

After the story about the test results broke amid England’s fourth Test defeat to India (the hosts amassing 759-7), Leach said: “When I did the test and they told me, I was as shocked as anyone.

“It was only a very small thing in terms of my body position and it wasn’t helping me bowl a doosra or anything like that.”

He added: “I just worked my nuts off to be honest with Peter Such from the Lions and Jason Kerr back at Somerset, in terms of making the changes I needed to.

“I’ve made a hell of a lot of progress and I was pleased with the way it went out in the UAE.

“The important thing is that I’ve come to terms with it and I feel like I’m going to be a better bowler in the future for sorting it out.”

The ECB have given Leach a vote of confidence by selecting him for the Lions tour of Sri Lanka in February and March 2017, and the 25-year-old has the full support of his club.

New skipper Abell said: “No-one works harder than Jack.

“This is a minor setback for him but I have no doubt he will come back a better bowler.

“It has not dampened his character, but he was surprised.

“He is often the life and soul of the dressing room, he’s a fantastic character and I have every confidence in him.”

Matthew Maynard, Somerset’s director of cricket, also backed ‘our Jack’, saying he has worked very hard to correct the “minor abnormality” and as far as both the ECB and Somerset are concerned he is clean, and he hoped this was the end of the matter.

He did, nonetheless, add that he was “very disappointed” with the timing of the test result being made public, the day after India amassed the highest total by any team against England.

He explained: “I would prefer if they’d put their hand up and said they’d made a mistake with the selection, as opposed to pointing the finger at a young spinner.”

On Abell, Maynard said: “We’re delighted Tom accepted the captaincy.

“People will look at his age, but he has the right credentials and you take Graeme Smith [who captained South Africa at 22] as an example.

“If you’re good enough, you’re old enough and Tom is certainly good enough.

“Among the senior player group, the response has been absolutely fantastic.”

Abell, who attended (and smashed records at) Taunton School, before playing up through the Somerset age groups, added: “I'm under no illusions it's a big role, but having the experience of senior players like [Peter] Trego and Hildy [James Hildreth] will be a big help.”

Trego commented on the appointment: “It’s a short term fix having an overseas guy for maybe one or two years but Tom is the guy who can captain this club for the next decade.

"We are all keen to get behind him and support him.

"Tom has got very pure intentions and is very passionate about the club, and I am sure he will lead us into the right direction and do it with a lot of class."

While Abell captains the four-day side, Jim Allenby will continue as white ball skipper, leading the club’s NatWest T20 Blast and Royal London One-Day Cup sides.