Ashes: Craig Overton in 'pole position' for England debut - Shane Bond

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Craig Overton in 'pole position' to make England debut

Craig Overton is in "pole position" to make his England debut in next week's first Ashes Test against Australia, says bowling consultant Shane Bond.

Pace bowler Overton, 23, is vying with Jake Ball for a place in the England side, but Ball has missed the final warm-up match with an ankle injury.

"Craig is ahead because we have a guy recuperating from injury," Bond told BBC Sport.

"Jake is a little bit behind and Craig has come out and performed well."

Somerset's Overton took 2-32 on the first day of England's final warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI in Townsville on Wednesday.

That followed four wickets against the same opposition in Adelaide last week.

"I was pleased for Craig, that was a really good performance," added former New Zealand international Bond.

"He bowled 18 strong overs, used the short ball and created chances. He's building well and he'll certainly be ready for the Test match."

If Overton does play in the first Test at the Gabba, which starts at 00:00 GMT on Thursday, 23 November, he will line-up alongside James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes in England's pace attack.

"He offers something different," said Bond. "He's not as quick, but he does get significant bounce.

"The Gabba is a bouncy wicket and he's the sort of bowler who could hustle the ball through at throat height."

Overton, who took 46 first-class wickets during the English summer, has previously undergone counselling to help him control his temper.

In December 2015 he was given a two-match ban for using abusive language towards Sussex's Ashar Zaidi.

But in September, former Somerset director of cricket Matthew Maynard said that Overton had "improved his emotional control".

And Bond said Overton's reaction to playing in the heated environment of an Ashes Test will only be known when he gets his opportunity.

"We're confident in his skill set," said Bond. "We know he's a good player. He has a fighting attitude and he like to get in people's faces.

"If he does that and plays his style of game, he'll go well."

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