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Sahaj Nair ∙ Jun 26 2022, 12:47 PM | 3 Min Read

When life gives you second chance, grab it like Jamie Overton

Jamie Overton, the debutant for England helped them stage a remarkable comeback from the first Innings collapse in the 3rd Test match against New Zealand. 


Tottering at 55/6, the twenty-eight-year-old along with Jonny Bairstow, put up a mammoth partnership of 241 before he was dismissed for 97, agonizingly falling short of what would have been a magnificent century in his debut match.   


The 28-year-old, who joined his twin brother Craig in the squad, has been in excellent form in the ongoing County Championship for league leaders Surrey, having taken 21 wickets this season at an average of 21.61. In his 82-match first-class career, Jamie has picked up 206 wickets, including five fifers. The fast bowler was also called up to the England ODI squad against New Zealand in 2015 but didn't play a game. 


Overton was always under the radar of the England selectors ever since he burst onto the cricketing scenes. However, Overton was called into the England squad for the ODI series against Australia at the end of 2013, aged just 19, owing to his towering height and high pace. 


Although he did not play, it was clear that Overton had made a strong impression on England's bowling coach at the time, David Saker, while representing Somerset against the touring Australians and had been identified as one for the future. 


Former England captain Mike Atherton suggested he could be an outside bet for a place in the Ashes tour that winter, and a haul of 6 for 95 against Middlesex in May 2013 did his claim no harm. Instead, he was chosen for the Lions tour of Sri Lanka that winter but was obliged to pull out due to a knee injury. 


Injuries restricted his journey to becoming one of domestic cricket's hottest properties. On his day, Overton could crank up the high pace and trouble batters with the extra bounce he got due to his towering figure. 


One of the significant features of Overton's bowling in his early days in domestic cricket was characterized by inconsistency. He made his England U19 debut in 2011, his first-class debut in May 2012, then played for England U19s in the World Cup in Australia and toured South Africa with the same squad. A spell of bowling against Australia in Townville in which he exceeded 150kph attracted attention. He made his Lions debut in August 2013. 


Overton was not all that bad with the bat in hand as well. He could hit a long ball but had little patience, making his occasional half-centuries a rare treat. One of the most entertaining adventures with the bat came in a stand 69 in 57 balls against Warwickshire for the 10th wicket with his brother in 2014. 


A half-century in 18 balls against Yorkshire at Taunton the following year was the fastest Championship half-century for a No. 11 since balls were officially recorded and once again Craig was at the other end.

 

Having made quite an impression with the bat in his hand in the first opportunity, Overton will be looking forward to displaying a similar form with the ball in hand to help his team dismiss New Zealand for a relatively low score.