Saturday, April 1, 2023

New and improved Jamie Overton regarded as ‘one of the best all-rounders in the world’

Jamie Overton has been a long time coming. After impressing at under-19 level a decade ago, and was first called into the England squad in 2013, and despite being an almost permanent presence on England’s radar, he only makes his England debut at Headingley today.
Speed ​​has always interested him, but this season, a confluence of events has finally brought him into the limelight. England are missing almost an entire XI of fast bowlers, due to injury, but Overton’s performance this season for Surrey means they will be beeping fast on that radar in any case.
He has been the most exceptional English fast bowler on the circuit; His strike rate of 38.3 is better than only that of his twin brother Craig (minimum five matches), but this – again, still – is the pace that gets people stoked. He has taken good wickets, but there is just as much enthusiasm about the movement and danger of his bouncers. In some dispatches he is said to have been 10mph faster than any bowler around him.
This is in stark contrast to last season’s desperate struggle, in which Overton took six wickets at 75 in eight matches. Inconsistency has been a theme, but this season, under the watchful eye of Azhar Mehmood, there are signs that could change.

Mahmood has quietly built up an impressive coaching career, with international experience with Pakistan burning in the Pakistan Super League most recently as head coach at Islamabad United. As an interim assistant coach at Surrey, he has taken on Overton as a personal project and the early results, after little technical changes, have been excellent.

“The first thing we did with him was to reduce his run-up,” says Mahmood. Was losing when he was running at the popping crease for those final stages where you really have to build that momentum.”

Because of that loss in speed, Mahmud explains, he was not moving well towards his goal. “When you move your hip in action, you transfer the weight and bring your hip forward, for a follow-through. He was stalling a bit but if you look now, he’s getting closer to the batsman.” Goes. He’s tall at the crease. Now.”

Mahmood is careful when it comes to thinking about the bowling action, though he is careful not to tinker with it too much. His phone is a video treasure trove of bowlers and bowling action from his work around the world; Little tips he gave them, small changes he made, hours he spent just looking and logging in.

He identified Overton’s run-up as a major reason for the inconsistency in his release and action, which often resulted in him wandering down the aisle. But the pre-season work brought some immediate results. After shortening the run-up, Mahmood asked Overton to note how many deliveries he bowled at legside. Overton bowled Hashim Amla for half an hour in the nets on day one and Mahmood remembered only two deliveries that Amla could have played through legside. Amla was impressed and wondered if Overton could maintain that consistency.

“Now you can see that half the season has passed and he is handling it,” Mahmood said. “His pace can lead to dissonance. At that pace, a good day can be a great day, but a bad day is a very bad day. If you’re a little off that pace, you go for runs. “Jamie’s getting that continuity now. He’s still a work in progress. He’ll keep going. But this season I think people have seen the best of him.”

Mahmood especially remembers Overton’s first game of the season. After being rested for tactical reasons for Surrey’s season-opener, Overton blew up Hampshire with eight wickets at The Oval. The performance was all classic really fast-bowling dismissals: an outswinger that hit the stumps, a bouncer from round the wicket, a yorker and then, a relentless short-pitched attack in the second innings. The speed gun, Mahmood says, saw him at 92mph at one point.
One wicket he misses, however, is from the Somerset game: Matt Renshaw bowls over the wicket, leaving a full ball late and early. ,Dande is a ura diya [blew away his sticks]Mahmood says.
Mahmood has been almost as excited by Overton’s batting this season, at least in a game against Kent where he watched with awe as Overton scored 93 off 92 balls. He sees a bit of himself in the batting: Mahmood hit three Test centuries, all against strong South African attacks, two in South Africa and seven and eight down the order. His average in first-class cricket was around 32.

“I talked to him about his batting,” he says. “I said you remind me of myself, you have the exact same role I used to play. To help build an innings down the order. I told him that role. Best this guy with that batting.” Can be one of the all-rounders in the world.

“I haven’t really done that much with him. Jamie Overton is special. He’s a diamond. All we’ve done is cut and polish him a little bit.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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