Ollie Robinson's Inclusion Would be Just Reward

4 days ago it was announced that Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson would return to the England test bubble ahead of the 2nd test against Pakistan. After being part of the original 55 man training squad, Robinson was allowed to leave the bubble to represent his county in the first round of the Bob Willis Trophy. The theory being that he was better off getting some cricket under his belt than carrying drinks for England.

Robinson returned to Hove to face Hampshire and he did exactly what Ollie Robinson does. He finished that match with 8 wickets for 65 runs, that's a bowling average of 8.13. His success in that game wasn't exactly surprising. During the 2019 County Championship he took 63 wickets at just 16.44, that's on top of taking 74 wickets at 18.66 in 2019. In short, he takes wickets.

His impressive form with the ball in the domestic game earned him a call up to the Lions for their winter tour of Australia, he rewarded that faith with 7 wickets in the MCG test. He now hopes that an England call is just around the corner, and it could come as soon as tomorrow with England naming him in their 14 man matchday squad.

If you haven't seen a lot of Robinson, then there are a few things you need to know.

He's not express pace, he bowls consistently in the 80-85mph range. He can swing the ball both ways, and he is suffocatingly accurate on that top of off stump line. It's that accuracy that forces batsmen to make mistakes, he simply does not relent. His economy rate is so good because he doesn't stray from that line, if batsmen are going to score off him, they're going to need to attack a good ball. Sometimes it'll work out for the batsmen, more often than not it'll be Robinson celebrating.

When Robinson first joined Sussex back in 2015, he played with former Australian Steve Magoffin, he now plays under head coach Jason Gillespie, another former Australian bowler. The Australians are renowned for their accuracy, think McGrath, Hazlewood, Cummins. It was that one penny accuracy that tormented the England bowlers at times during last summers ASHES and that's exactly the model that Robinson has crafted his game on.

Things could have been so different for Robinson, sacked as 20-year-old from Yorkshire for several incidents of "unprofessional conduct", he has rebuilt both his career and his reputation with Sussex after a brief detour to Hampshire for the 2014 season.

With one century and five half-centuries to his name, he's also handy with the bat, with a 21.26 first-class batting average to his name, he's anything but a walking wicket.

I don't know if England will call Robinson into the lineup tomorrow. However his performances and his stats are hard to ignore and should he make his debut in Southampton, you have little doubt that he will one again repay the faith. His inclusion would be just reward for a career that's only heading in one direction.


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