Craig Overton calls on England bowlers to make the second new ball count


Craig Overton calls on England bowlers to make the second new ball count as hosts bid to skittle India at Headingley and draw Test series level

  • Craig Overton has called on England to make the second new ball count 
  • India reduced their deficit to 139 runs at the close of play at Headingley 
  • Early strikes with the second new ball will leave England confident of victory
  • A win in Yorkshire will tie the series level at 1-1 heading into the Oval Test 

Craig Overton has called on England to make the second new ball count at Headingley on Saturday morning as Joe Root’s team look to end the resistance of India’s top order and square the series at 1-1 going into next week’s fourth Test at the Oval.

The tourists closed the third day in Leeds on 215 for two, still 139 short of avoiding an innings defeat, but with Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli already 99 runs into a crucial third-wicket partnership.

The new ball will be available immediately when play resumes, with England confident that early strikes will allow them to reassert their superiority from the first two days.

Craig Overton has called on England's bowlers to make the most of the second new ball

Craig Overton has called on England’s bowlers to make the most of the second new ball

‘We’re still in a great position in this game, especially with the new ball ball in the morning,’ said Overton, who contributed 32 to England’s first-innings 432, before having KL Rahul brilliantly caught on the stroke of lunch by Jonny Bairstow in the slips — one of only two Indian wickets to fall on Friday.

‘If we can get a couple of wickets, we can hammer it home a bit more. But credit to them. They made it hard for us, and we’ve got to come back and show what we can do.’

Meanwhile, England will continue with their policy of not goading Virat Kohli, who they believe feeds off being wound up by opposition verbals.

‘He’s one of the characters that wants to get in the battle,’ said Overton. ‘As a side, we’re just trying to make sure that we do our business as we can — and not ignore him, but make sure we stick to the basics.’

England are hoping to skittle India on Saturday morning to move closer to victory in Leeds

England are hoping to skittle India on Saturday morning to move closer to victory in Leeds

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