(Photo: Harry Trump/Getty Images)
By Graham Hardcastle
Matthew Maynard has no doubts over Craig Overton’s ability to shine for England. Last month, Somerset’s Overton was one of five uncapped faces in England’s T20 squad for their three-match series against South Africa, but he was the only one who did not get a game.
That was despite Eoin Morgan stating: “You’ll see everybody play at least one game. This is an opportunity to give people a chance and see what they can do on the international stage.”
Overton’s omission drew immediate criticism from Maynard, Somerset’s director of cricket, who tweeted: “Gutted for @craigoverton12 #brokenword.”
After watching the 23-year-old seamer take match figures of 9-134 in a thumping 179-run victory over Yorkshire at Scarborough, Maynard reiterated: “It was disappointing. But true to Craig’s character, he’s not let that disappointment affect him.
“It’s a question of when and for how long as opposed to whether he ever will play for England. He’s a dangerous cricketer in all forms. He can hit the ball out of the park. He can catch and is athletic in the field. He’s a very talented cricketer.”
As Maynard alluded to, Overton is developing into a fine all-round cricketer, not just a tall and dangerous seamer.
He hit 35 off 43 balls in Somerset’s first innings and shared a tenth-wicket stand of 61 with last man Tim Groenewald to help recover from 207-9.
“Liam Plunkett is a great guide for someone like Craig,” added Maynard.
“Liam’s played a lot of international cricket over probably the last 12 years or so and Craig’s come in and bowled as well as I’ve seen Liam bowl in a red-ball game for a while. And I think Craig’s bowled slightly better.
“Last year Craig improved his lengths. He probably bowled slightly fuller than the year before. But what he’s doing better now is adjusting to conditions.
“He hasn’t actually had the rewards this year that his bowling suggests in terms of wickets.
“But he has bowled really well.”
Result: Yorkshire (213 & 157) lost to Somerset (268 & 281-4d) by 179 runs