Tright here was once no Ben Stokes at England coaching on Tuesday, an undisclosed sickness forcing the captain to stick away, and for the rest of the avid gamers who started tuning up for the 3rd Test in opposition to New Zealand it was once a case of seeing double.
Never earlier than have England fielded dual brothers in the similar XI however new floor might be damaged right here this week, with the uncapped and pacy Jamie Overton having joined his brother, Craig, within the squad for the sequence finale beginning on Thursday and the likelihood that the incumbent seam assault might be freshened up.
There is a 5th Test in opposition to India to come back subsequent week, rearranged after the Covid postponement final summer season, and with this an opportunity to say a 2-2 draw. England lead the Black Caps sequence 2-0 with one to play, providing scope to provide a minimum of considered one of Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad or Matt Potts a leisure if required.
How this pans out might but hinge at the health of Stokes and a Headingley pitch which regarded white and ripe for batting two days out. But jostling for place is one thing the Overton twins know handiest too smartly, having risen up the ranks of North Devon Cricket Club and Somerset in combination earlier than Jamie opted to transport to Surrey two years in the past.
“It’s been like that since we were 16 years old,” stated Craig, who claimed six wickets in opposition to India at this floor final summer season in what was once arguably his absolute best efficiency in an England blouse. “My first game of first-class cricket, we were competing for the same spot and I ended up playing and Jamie missed out.
“We both said to each other before we found out [about Jamie’s callup] that whatever happens, we’ll be supportive. We’ve always been like that. We want what’s best for the team and if that means one of us misses out that’s the way it is.”
Jamie added: “I remember Craig playing West of England before me and then I got in the squad after that. Then I got through to the Under-19s before Craig. So it’s always worked that one has been ahead and then the other’s caught up. It sounds horrible but if this means I catch up and go one step ahead of him, that would be amazing.”
Any pact was once paused when the pair met at Taunton in the latest spherical of County Championship fixtures, Jamie felling his brother with an uncongenial bouncer to the pinnacle and, after a prolong, forcing him to retire harm. Though Craig got here again out that day – and was once met with some other fruity quick ball – not on time concussion then ended his fit early.
“I would say he did me for lack of pace,” Craig claimed at coaching, Jamie rolling his eyes along him. “The one afterwards when I came back in was probably the quickest ball he bowled all spell. I sort of expected it a little bit and it was nice he did it because it got me back in the innings. I just managed to get out of the way of it.
“I have not faced him that much. We were always told to avoid each other in the nets because nets could get a bit spicy as we tried to outdo each other. So that was the first time I had faced him in a proper game. I knew a bumper was coming. It was good fun. I enjoyed the challenge. It is not often you face bowlers at 90mph.”
While each are 6ft 5in tall, Craig is a line-and-length bowler working within the mid-80s, and Jamie an categorical fast. The latter didn’t get started the season however has since hit a wealthy seam of shape and health that has returned 21 wickets at a median of 21.61 after Azhar Mahmood, Surrey’s bowling trainer, helped him to groove a shorter, extra environment friendly runup.
Jamie stated: “I think you can see that with Craig in his first-class stats, he doesn’t really miss a length very often. And I might be a bit more wayward, potentially with a few more magic balls in there. But the last couple of years I’ve learned to be able to hit that length a bit more than I have done in my earlier career.”
The pair put the variation right here right down to their youth taking part in for North Devon, with Jamie explaining how the membership’s picturesque coastal floor in Instow dictated their approaches.
“One end was always heavily into the wind and the other one was with it, because of the way the breeze came off the sea,” he stated. “I always got the sea end and Craig bowled into the wind. I think when you bowl into the wind you’ve got to be able to control your length a lot more.”
Craig added: “I’ve not tried to bowl 90mph because that’s not me. I’ve tried to do the basics and not go for many runs and let him hit people in the head.”
It is a sensation that Craig, the elder by means of 3 mins, is aware of handiest too smartly and one thing New Zealand’s batters could also be about to find.