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Jamie Overton hopes to control his pace in order to avoid injury troubles

The Somerset paceman has been blighted by injuries throughout his career so far.

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Jamie Overton says he will not be bowling 90mph all the time (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Jamie Overton says he will not be bowling 90mph all the time (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Jamie Overton says he will not be bowling 90mph all the time (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Jamie Overton has accepted that he must temper the occasional sharp burst by bowling slightly within himself in order to prevent injuries from blighting his future.

The Somerset paceman is widely recognised as one of the fastest bowlers on the county circuit but has endured a string of setbacks over the course of his career.

A stress fracture to his back – a common ailment among those who strive for express pace – wiped out most of the last couple of years but he overcame a side strain at the start of 2018 to make an impact this season.

Overton wants to continue to push the speed gun but, having taken inspiration from Australia’s Mitchell Starc in the Ashes last winter, knows he cannot strain every sinew each time he runs into the crease.

The 24-year-old told Press Association Sport: “It’s tough because as a youngster you want to play as much cricket as you can but if you want to bowl 90mph then you can’t play every game and bowl 90mph every ball.

“How many in the world actually do it? You don’t have to bowl max out all the time, I’ve been sorting that out over the last six months, seven months.

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“Looking at Mitchell Starc over the winter, how often did he bowl at 88mph or 90mph? Sometimes he would bowl at 82 or 84mph and then when he wanted to he could crank it up to 88 or 89mph.

“If you can hover around 85 or 86mph and then when you want to crank it up you can. That makes it so much easier and there’s less force on your body.

“I still want to be quicker than the rest of the lads but it’s just trying to almost hold an end and be patient and get the wickets through patience. Then when I want to I can fire up when I need to.”

Overton was a consistent performer in his eight County Championship fixtures this year with 26 wickets at an average of 24.84 while only Pat Brown and Matt Parkinson took more scalps in the Vitality Blast.

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Jamie Overton’s twin, Craig, left, has played three Tests and a solitary one-day international for England (Martin Rickett/PA)

Jamie Overton’s twin, Craig, left, has played three Tests and a solitary one-day international for England (Martin Rickett/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Jamie Overton’s twin, Craig, left, has played three Tests and a solitary one-day international for England (Martin Rickett/PA)

Indeed, he seemed to be on the brink of an overdue England call-up although the selectors plumped for Warwickshire’s Olly Stone for the ongoing tour of Sri Lanka.

Overton, whose twin brother Craig has played three Tests and a solitary one-day international, said: “Obviously I know England want a quick bowler and there’s not many around so you feel like you’re in with a chance.

“But at that moment I wasn’t really focused on that, I was just trying to do my stuff for Somerset and keep doing the good things well. If it did come then it comes but I wasn’t thinking ‘I should be there’.”

Overton had the consolation of being named in the four-day and limited-overs squads for England Lions’ tour of the United Arab Emirates to take on Pakistan A, which gets under way later this month.

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Olly Stone was seemingly selected ahead of Overton for the Sri Lanka tour (Simon Cooper/PA)

Olly Stone was seemingly selected ahead of Overton for the Sri Lanka tour (Simon Cooper/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Olly Stone was seemingly selected ahead of Overton for the Sri Lanka tour (Simon Cooper/PA)

The grounds have a reputation for being a graveyard for fast bowlers but Overton admitted that has been an occupational hazard in his career.

He added: “If you do well there then you can bowl on any pitch.

“That’s what I’ve thought at Taunton for the last four or five years: it’s been renowned for being a batter’s paradise and now over the last couple of years it’s been a spinner’s wicket.

“For seamers, it’s not the most ideal pitch but if you can bowl on a pitch like that then you can bowl anywhere in the world.”


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