SOMERSET seamer Craig Overton has been named in the England squad for the Ashes tour to Australia this winter.

The call-up is just reward for the Barnstaple-born seamer’s consistency over the course of a fine individual season which has seen him take 46 First Class wickets at 22.26 – a record which could improve over the remainder of the ongoing match with Middlesex.

It is the second senior call-up Overton has had in three months; in June, he was picked for the IT20 squad for the three-match series against South Africa only to be denied a promised international debut, but the 23-year-old has bounced back superbly from that setback and earned his seat on the plane down under.

The seamer’s cause was undoubtedly helped by the unfortunate injury to Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones, but Overton’s height, pace and bounce are likely to be attributes that come in more than useful on hard and true Australian pitches.

Of English pacemen in county cricket, only Jamie Porter and Ben Coad have taken more wickets than Overton this season, and the Somerset man will battle it out with Chris Woakes and Jake Ball for a place as third seamer in the attack alongside Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

He is also a hard-hitting lower order batsman with one First Class century and seven fifties to his name, while Somerset director of cricket Matthew Maynard yesterday told the BBC that Overton now has the “emotional maturity” to cope with the international game.

There is, however, no place in the squad for Overton’s Somerset teammate Jack Leach, despite the 25-year-old having taken more wickets than any other bowler in county cricket since the start of the 2016 season.

Instead, England have opted for 20-year-old Hampshire spinner Mason Crane, who has taken 16 Division 1 wickets at an average of 41.44 in seven matches in 2017.

By contrast, Leach has claimed 44 scalps this season, 21 of which have come in the last four-and-a-half games as the Taunton-born spinner gets back to his best after remodelling his action over the winter.

The tour begins with a two-day warm-up match against Western Australia in Perth on November 4, with the first Test beginning on November 23 in Brisbane.

The rest of the squad contains several surprises, with Hampshire’s James Vince gaining a shock recall to the international arena having struggled in the Test side last summer and averaged a modest 34.82 for his county this summer.

Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance is also handed another chance to impress, while Ben Stokes – who was arrested and released yesterday for an incident on Sunday night in Bristol – is included.

England squad for the tour to Australia: Joe Root (capt), Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Dawid Malan, Gary Ballance, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Ben Foakes (wkt), Moeen Ali, Mason Crane, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jake Ball, Craig Overton.