England vs NZ, 3rd Test

England’s men have reinforced their bowling stocks with Jamie Overton ahead of the third LV= Insurance Test against New Zealand
Overton, 28, has been one of Surrey’s stand-out performers in their unbeaten start to the season, clocking the kind of speeds that would make him the quickest on show if he were to debut at Headingley next Thursday. The chances of his inclusion in the XI seem quite high given England took an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the series after victory at Trent Bridge and the need to manage the workload of what has been an unchanged pace trio of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Matthew Potts.

Like his brother Craig – who has also been retained in the 14-man squad – Jamie has been long touted for international honours since the England age-groups. Despite being a frequent flyer on pace programmes, Lions tours and in various squads, the first being a call-up in 2015 for an ODI series against New Zealand, he has yet to be capped for his country.

That looks set to change, in part due to a realisation of potential that has seen him take 21 Division One wickets for Surrey in the LV= Insurance County Championship, at a miserly average of 21.61. He has also featured in all seven of the club’s Vitality Blast matches where he has contributed handsomely with the bat, averaging 27 at an emphatic strike rate of 209. Though not an allrounder per se, such handiness would be welcome in what has been a lengthy English tail.

Primarily, though, he will bring some much-needed speed at a time when the likes of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Olly Stone are sidelined with injury. Over the last few seasons, he has often been cited as one of the more hostile quicks on the domestic circuit, which was reinforced in his previous appearance against his former county Somerset when he felled brother Craig and Josh Davey. Craig was able to return but Davey was subsequently ruled out of the match. Overton went on to take five wickets in the match as Surrey secured a final-day win by three wickets.

He will join the rest of the squad who are due to report to Headingley on Tuesday afternoon as England look to rubber-stamp what has been a blockbuster start to new life under Brendon McCullum, led by Ben Stokes. The pair will run the rule over Overton in training before deciding on which of Anderson, Broad or Potts will be rested, if at all. The trio have taken 30 New Zealand wickets between them, with 39-year-old Anderson, the leader of the pack, in front with 11. Broad, meanwhile, has got through the greater amount of work with 85 overs across the first two Tests. Only Trent Boult, with 87.2, has sent down more this series.

The only other change to the squad that reported to Trent Bridge is the omission of the legspinner, Matt Parkinson, who debuted at Lord’s as a concussion substitute for Jack Leach, but has been deemed surplus to requirements for Headingley, following Leach’s return to the side for the second Test. Harry Brook, the Yorkshire batter who was an unused squad member for the first two matches, also remains with the squad.

England squad for 3rd Test Ben Stokes (capt), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes (wk), Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope, Joe Root

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