Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison backs English pacer, Ollie Robinson. Harmison believes Robinson to come back strongly, if he gets the call in this week’s second Test at Old Trafford, against South Africa.
England had faced an innings defeat against South Africa at the Lords. However, England may try to recheck their bowling attack in the second test at Manchester.
It, however, looks like there is a possibility for Robinson to get a chance. Maybe, it will be the first time after the winter’s Ashes. The 28 years old gave ample proof of his form by bagging 5 wickets for the England Lions. It was against South Africa at Canterbury, at the beginning of this month.
Robinson however, was injured as he was pulling up with a back spasm while playing the final Ashes Test in Hobart in January.
The back problem popped up in March, at the beginning of England’s tour of the West Indies. He was thus ruled out from that three-match series. Moreover, this ensured his unavailability in the four-Test wins against New Zealand and India.
Meanwhile, Robinson couldn’t feature himself owing to a major dental problem followed by Covid.
No question of the talent of Ollie Robinson: Steve Harmison
Robinson earlier had confessed that he modeled his metronomic bowling style from the Great Australian Glenn McGrath. However, Robinson is all set to come back this week in Manchester. He may feature with either Stuart Broad or Matt Potts in England’s XI.
However, Harmison said,
“Robinson did well against the South Africans at Canterbury. I’m pleased he looked back to his best. He looked as fit as he was when he first came into the team. There’s no question of the talent of Ollie Robinson. It was the mindset, the professionalism that was questioned and unfortunately for Ollie he bowls at 78 miles per hour and if you bowl 78mph there’s two things you have to be and one of those is extremely fit.
“You can’t bowl 40 overs in a Test match and drop below 78mph, you can’t because you just get punished. The other is you need to be extremely accurate – and he is because he gets the ball to bounce from such a full length.
“Glenn McGrath bowled the latter part of his career, his last three or four years, at 78-80mph. McGrath never gave you a bad ball. He didn’t give you anything. That’s what Ollie Robinson has got to do.”
Harmison questions Lewis’ remarks
Jon Lewis, England bowling coach, questioned Robinson’s professionalism. It happened after he was unavailable during that Hobart Test. Questions tolled over his fitness and attitude. However, Harmison believes Lewis, will also have to defend himself for criticizing Robinson publicly. Lewis will signing off with England at the end of this summer.
“The question marks about his professionalism? I’m not so sure if Jon Lewis was looking to protect himself or he was having a go at Ollie Robinson. Was Jon Lewis thinking we didn’t bowl well in Australia, made some bad decisions so I’m going to protect myself by saying the bowlers didn’t do what I said to them or didn’t perform the way I’d like from a professional point of view?”
Harmison had been in the winning team in the 2005 Ashes. He took 226 wickets in 63 Tests. However, he has faith in the head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stoke. He trusts the ultra-positive environment they provide, which may help Robinson to enrich his skills. He said,
“I think it will,” he said. “He is a talented boy and if he can get things right between his ears so he is close to Broad and [James] Anderson when it comes to how they look after themselves then he’s got a huge future for England.”
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