Andy Hurry: Somerset's Craig Overton will thrive on England Lions promotion
Somerset coach Andy Hurry has backed Craig Kieswetter to emerge stronger following his England omission – and has tipped Craig Overton to thrive on his promotion to Lions duty.
Somerset’s Craigs were among the headline-makers when England’s squads were announced yesterday, with wicketkeeper Kieswetter omitted from the one-day party to tour New Zealand.
Teenager Overton, meanwhile, was named in the England Lions squad – which will be captained by James Taylor on their tour to Australia – despite having made only seven first-class appearances for Somerset.
And Hurry said: “The experience Craig Overton has had of first-class cricket at Somerset has undoubtedly helped him earn his call-up to the Lions squad.
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“He has also come through the England age groups and has been on the elite fast-bowling programme at Loughborough University, so the selectors have seen what he can produce day in, day out.
“There have been a few squad changes in the main England set-up, with some guys moving up from the Lions, and that has created some opportunities for other players – and Craig fully deserves his chance.
“He was been earmarked at a very young age as a player of real promise and potential, and this is a fantastic opportunity for him.”
The 18-year-old, whose twin brother Jamie is another highly-regarded player on Somerset’s books, made his first-class debut against Lancashire last April.
But while Overton celebrates his elevation to the Lions ranks, Kieswetter has been dropped from the one-day squad for the forthcoming tour of New Zealand.
The 25-year-old has made 46 ODI appearances for England but was out for a duck on his last outing, against India on Saturday, and was replaced by club-mate Jos Buttler for Wednesday’s game at Mohali. Buttler has retained his place in both the ODI and Twenty20 squads to tour New Zealand.
Hurry said: “Craig has had these setbacks before – and every time he has bounced back a stronger, more determined and more highly-skilled performer.
“I think it will only be a good thing for his game and I’ve got no hesitation in believing that he will come back stronger when he gets his next opportunity for England.”
Somerset batsman Nick Compton, meanwhile, has retained his place in the England Test squad after a successful debut tour to India before Christmas.
Tim Bresnan has been ruled out of the tour of New Zealand due to an ongoing elbow problem.
Bresnan, who has been struggling with his right elbow for some time and underwent an operation at the end of 2011, has been replaced in all three formats by Warwickshire’s Chris Woakes, who is uncapped at Test level.
Bresnan will be assessed by specialists before any decision is made on his long-term availability, but Miller is hopeful that the Yorkshireman will be back to full fitness in time for a summer programme that sees England host both the Ashes and the Champions Trophy.
England also added two players to the 50-over squad, with Joe Root and the uncapped James Harris joining the group.
Root had initially been assigned the captaincy of the second string England Lions for their tour of Australia but his performances across the formats in India have made an irresistible case for inclusion among the seniors.
England squads for tour of New Zealand, February 4-March 26...
Twenty20 (February 9-15): SCJ Broad (Nottinghamshire, capt), JM Bairstow (Yorkshire), DR Briggs (Hampshire), JC Buttler (Somerset), JW Dernbach (Surrey), ST Finn (Middlesex), AD Hales (Nottinghamshire), MJ Lumb (Nottinghamshire), SC Meaker (Surrey), EJG Morgan (Middlesex), SR Patel (Nottinghamshire), JC Tredwell (Kent), CR Woakes (Warwickshire), LJ Wright (Sussex).
One-day Internationals (February 17-23): AN Cook (Essex, capt), JM Anderson (Lancashire), JM Bairstow (Yorkshire), IR Bell (Warwickshire), SCJ Broad (Nottinghamshire), JC Buttler (Somerset), ST Finn (Middlesex), JAR Harris (Middlesex), EJG Morgan (Middlesex), SR Patel (Nottinghamshire), JE Root (Yorkshire), GP Swann (Nottinghamshire), JC Tredwell (Kent), IJL Trott (Warwickshire), CR Woakes (Warwickshire).
Tests (March 6-26): AN Cook (Essex, capt), JM Anderson (Lancashire), JM Bairstow (Yorkshire), IR Bell (Warwickshire), SCJ Broad (Nottinghamshire), NRD Compton (Somerset), ST Finn (Middlesex), G Onions (Durham), MS Panesar (Sussex), KP Pietersen (Surrey), MJ Prior (Sussex), JE Root (Yorkshire), GP Swann (Nottinghamshire), IJL Trott (Warwickshire), CR Woakes (Warwickshire).