#OTD in 2013 | India beat England to lift their second Champions Trophy title
23 June 2022
Surrey's interim assistant coach Azhar Mahmood lavished praise on "special" Jamie Overton after the seamer earned his Test debut against New Zealand at Headingley.
Azhar has had a decorated coaching career till now. He served as Pakistan's national bowling coach from 2016 to 2019. Moreover, he plied his trade with the Oval Invincibles in the inaugural edition of the Men's Hundred.
Back in August 2020, Mahmood also honed his skills as England's assistant bowling coach during the Brits' home series against Pakistan. As a result, he's been often tipped for the progress of many players around the globe.
Mahmood disclosed how reducing the run-up of the tall English quick from 24 yards to 18 yards has helped him immensely in his bowling.
"The first thing we did with him was to reduce his run-up," the bowling coach said on Overton's progression as a bowler.
"We reduced it from 24 yards or so that it was before to around 18 now. He was losing momentum when he was running in for those last strides to the popping crease, where you actually have to build that momentum up."
Azhar explained that because of the long run-up of Overton, there was a loss of momentum, and he wasn't following through towards his target properly.
"When you drive your hip through in the action, you transfer weight and bring your hip forward, for the follow-through. He was stopping a little but if you watch now, he gets closer to the batsman. He is taller at the crease now."
"Now you can see, it's half a season gone, and he's been sustaining it. Because of his pace that inconsistency can creep in. At that pace, a good day can be a great day, but a bad day a very poor one. If you're slightly off line at that pace, you go for runs. Jamie's getting that consistency now. He's still a work in progress. That will keep going. But this season I think people have seen the best of him," Mahmood added.
Even Overton admitted that a large share of credit for his success should be given to Mahmood for working on his bowling.
"Changing my run-up at the start of the year is probably the biggest thing so far that has been noticeable. I've shortened my run-up with Azhar Mahmood, the bowling coach," said Jamie Overton.
"It has sort of been a work in progress, but it has felt really easy and really smooth, and hopefully, I can keep that going.
The ex-Pakistan all-rounder further said that he spoke to Overton about his batting as well. Mahmood told Overton that the tall Surrey player reminds him of himself.
"I spoke to him about his batting," he said. "I said you remind me of myself; you have exactly the role I used to have. To help build an innings lower down in the order. I said to him this is the role. With that batting, this guy can be one of the best all-rounders in the world.
"I really haven't done that much with him. Jamie Overton is special. He is a diamond. All we've done is to cut and polish him a little."