CRAIG Overton has set his sights on establishing himself as an England Test player having shown glimpses of his promise in the recent Ashes series.

The 23-year-old played two Tests prior to sustaining a cracked rib, and impressed with bat and ball despite results going against the tourists.

His debut came in Adelaide, where a rain delay meant a frustrating wait before Overton’s first ball in Test cricket, but the seamer was candid about his thought process at the top of his run-up.

“I was literally just thinking ‘bowl it straight’,” he told the County Gazette.

“As long as I didn’t bowl a wide that was fine – luckily it was blocked to extra cover and it was good fun after that.

“It’s still just a game of cricket. Of course you’ll be nervous at the start, which I was, but it soon went and I was able to get into it.”

The increased pressure - on and off the field - took a bit of getting used to, though, as Overton explained: “The first time we walked off the plane there were cameras in our faces, which was a bit of a shock, but when you get to training and there are cameras and press everywhere you get used to it.

“You have to try and blank out the crowd, too. 

“I was fielding on the boundary a lot so I got a bit of abuse from the Aussies, which was a bit of fun, but if you’re in the middle you’re too concerned about the game to notice.”

Perhaps the highlight of Overton’s series came on his debut, as Australian captain Steve Smith played on to his stumps to hand the Somerset seamer a maiden scalp to remember.

“At the time it was a bit of a blur, but obviously I’ve watched it back since,” he said.

“I just saw the lights flash up on the stumps and I was off and running, so it’s a moment I won’t forget.

“Any wicket would have been nice, but to get the world’s best player at the minute is a nice thing to be able to have done.”

Overton took his confidence into his batting, top scoring with an unbeaten 41 having entered the fray with England in trouble.

“It was a strange experience going out at 140-odd for seven facing three bowlers that bowl 90 mph,” he said.

“We knew their plan would be to bowl short to the lower order but I had prepared for that, and the practice was made worthwhile. I’m not sure I’ll top score for England again, but it’s a nice thing to happen in your first game.”

Notable scalps, including David Warner, followed in the third Test in Perth as Overton grew in confidence before picking up his injury.

England continued to struggle, however, and with a lack of pace in the side cited as one of their problems in the 4-0 series defeat, the 23-year-old now faces a dilemma as to the best course of action.

“I’m debating what to do. Over here it’s fine as you can bowl low 80s and use the swing, and they are the conditions I’ll be playing in the most so I don’t want to move too far away from that,” he said.

“I’m looking to add a yard of pace, but I don’t want to lose my control.

“I have learned on this tour that I can play at this level. I know I still have a lot of work to do, but the first step is making the Test side and the next step is staying there so it was nice to retain my place for the New Zealand tour. 

“Hopefully I can get my spot back and kick on from there.”

The first Test of the two-match series begins on March 22 in Christchurch, with Overton describing himself as “80-90% fit” as his recovery continues.

“I haven’t started bowling again yet but I’m not too worried about that. - I’ve got five or six weeks to get ready for New Zealand.”