Craig Overton reveals message to the Lions ahead of match at Canterbury against South Africa


‘Try and replicate what the England team are doing’: Craig Overton reveals message to the Lions ahead of match at Canterbury against South Africa – with bowler praising Test rival Ollie Robinson for ‘backing up’ his selection

  • Craig Overton took the opportunity to impress onlooking Brendon McCullum
  • Returned figures of 21-6-48-4 on an impress day at Canterbury against tourists
  • Ollie Robinson has been given the chance to stake his claim for a return to Test team under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes 

Craig Overton took the opportunity to impress the onlooking England coach Brendon McCullum with a four-wicket salvo against South Africa at Canterbury.

The 28-year-old, who is yet to play under the New Zealander, returned figures of 21-6-48-4 for England Lions, edging his personal bowl-out with Ollie Robinson. Both men are in the squad for the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s next week.

Of McCullum’s presence, Overton said: ‘The main message for the boys was try and replicate what the England team are doing at the minute.

Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson both enjoyed success on the first day at Canterbury 

‘Obviously, I’ve been in and around that group so it’s making sure that the other boys know what it’s like, try and get out there, express ourselves – do what we want with the bat, do what we want with the ball and make sure we throw ourselves around in the field.’

Competition with Sussex’s Robinson, who took the two other wickets to fall in a day one score of 282 for six, is natural given that they are effectively vying to be next man into an England team that has strung together four scintillating victories this summer.

‘I think that will always be there. We’re probably similar bowlers really. He gets a bit tighter and hits the stumps probably a bit more than what I do,’ Overton said.

Overton out-bowled his England Test rival recording impressive figures of 21-6-48-4

Overton out-bowled his England Test rival recording impressive figures of 21-6-48-4

‘But realistically, we’re both six-foot-five bowlers that like to hit the surface a little bit more than the other bowlers. So, we’re always competing but I think that’s natural in sport: you need those battles sometimes to get you going.

‘We seem to get the best out of each other. We’ve bowled quite a bit together, and one time in Australia we both got six and seven in a game and bowled pretty well for the Lions at times when we have done it. I think we enjoy doing it, hopefully we get the chance to do it for England.

‘I know he hasn’t bowled much (recently) so the way he trucked in all day – obviously that spell at the end was almost his best spell of the day – was pretty good to see.

‘It means he is backing it up which is what you need going into a Test match week. I think he’ll be pretty pleased – he might be a bit stiff in the morning but I think we’ll all be a bit stiff.’

Robinson was given the chance to stake his claim for a place in the XI next week at Lord's

Robinson was given the chance to stake his claim for a place in the XI next week at Lord’s

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