FORMER England international turned Sky Sports pundit David Lloyd has backed Somerset spinner Jack Leach for a place in the national squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand, hailing the 26-year-old as "the best spinner in England."

Reflecting on England's Ashes humiliation in his column for, Lloyd wrote: "England’s selectors will now start thinking about the tour party for the two-Test series in New Zealand in March. Enter Jack Leach.

"I think back to past series and Daniel Vettori and Phil Tufnell, left-arm spinners like Leach, have done well there.

"I don’t see what’s wrong with Leach – it’s a complete mystery to me why he’s not been picked already.

"He keeps getting a shed-full of wickets and he reminds me so much of Rangana Herath. He’s not a batter, he’s not a fielder but he’ll bowl all day for you and he gets people out. I would say that Leach is the best spinner in England."

He went on: "We seem to be obsessed with the fact that spin bowlers have got to bat. Herath doesn’t bat, Murali wasn’t any kind of batsman.

"If Leach can get people out, he’s good enough to play, and he’s shown he’s good enough to play by taking stacks of wickets for two years."

Leach was controversially overlooked for the Ashes tour in favour of Hampshire youngster Mason Crane, who showed signs of promise but ended with figures of 1-193 on his Test debut in Sydney this week.

Lloyd's comments echo those made by Peter Trego, who took to Twitter over the weekend to present the case for Leach as well as James Hildreth, with England potentially looking for middle order options after James Vince's struggles in Australia.

Leach has been selected for the England Lions tour of the West Indies, which overlaps with the senior tour to New Zealand, but England's spin troubles could yet lead to a change in direction from the selectors.