By RICHARD WALSH
SOMERSET paceman Jamie Overton hopes to be back to his wicket-taking best this season after injury stifled his 2016 campaign.
Overton took 17 championship wickets at 22.47 before he suffered a stress fracture to his back that prematurely ended his first team season in mid-July.
Now the 22 year old from Bideford is firing on all cylinders and straining at the leash to get going again.
‘It’s been a tough six months but now I am pretty happy with where I am at the moment and raring to go for the season,’ the former Academy scholar said.
Overton has just returned to Taunton after spending time in South Africa with the England Performance Programme fast-bowling group based in Potchefstroom
He attributed the way that he bowled last season to Chris Rogers, who was Somerset’s captain.
‘Talking with Chris before the start of the season he wanted me to bowl slightly differently than I have in the past and it obviously worked for me and I have been keeping to that tactic.
‘I will be keeping it pretty much the way I bowled last season trying to make the batsman play as much as possible and trying to avoid the bouncer as much as I can.
‘In the past that is the way I have been used and whilst there will be times when I have to do it, I want to be more than just that sort of bowler.
‘I want to be the person who takes wickets by keeping the ball up and making the batsman play as much as I can.
‘It will be good to have Chris back for part of the season as a coach because he changed the way that we played so it will be good to have his input again this year.’
Overton added: ‘It’s an unbelievable squad that we have got at the club at the moment so hopefully there are some good things to come.’
Bowling coach Jason Kerr said: ‘Jamie had a great time out in Potch with the England Performance Programme, where he had a couple of things to work on which he has addressed.
‘Now he has come back full of beans and really excited for the summer.
‘Missing quite a lot of last season was a big setback for him but what we saw before was a more mature Jamie someone who was bowling far more consistent First Class lengths and he looks the real deal.’