Ollie Robinson bowled with a lot of heart and discipline during the first innings of the first Test against India at Trent Bridge, finishing with a five-wicket haul, his first in Test cricket.
HIGHLIGHTS - ENG v IND, 1st TEST, DAY 3
It was a big moment for the 27-year-old fast bowler who is just playing the second Test of his career, less than three months after a painful debut – his career was under threat due to some old comments on social media - against New Zealand at Lord’s.
Robinson’s dogged bowling effort helped England restrict India to 278 in the first innings. Among his dismissals were set batsmen in Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja.
Speaking to the media at the end of the third day’s play, Robinson said: “It is a proud moment for myself and my family. And after a tough week at Lord’s, I’ll treasure this for a long time.”
Robinson said the frequent breaks due to rain made it tough for the bowling unit. “It felt like quite a tough day for us bowlers really with the way we were on and off the field. It’s nice to get the rewards at the end and luckily India didn’t get too big of a lead.”
Robinson was seen exchanging a few words with K.L. Rahul a few times during India’s innings. Robinson dismissed it as “all good fun,” saying he was trying to unsettle Rahul to have him play a few strokes and provide England chances to get him out.
“It was just friendly banter. We were just trying to get them to come out of their bubble, really. Obviously, their batting was pretty defensive. I was just trying to get K. L., especially, to play some shots against us and get him out. It was all good fun,” he said.
Rohit’s was the wicket he cherished most. “We were struggling; they were around 100 for 0 (97 for 0), so Rohit was a big wicket and got us momentum for the afternoon session (on Day Two),” Robinson said.
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During his debut Test at Lord’s, Robinson was under scrutiny for some racist and sexist posts on Twitter from early on in his career. He was eventually banned for eight matches (five suspended) by the England and Wales Cricket Board. Robinson said that Lord’s Test was among the toughest weeks he had ever faced in his life.
“It was tough. Probably the toughest week I’ve had in cricket, to be honest, or in my life actually. It affected not only myself but my family. I’ve learnt a lot since that. Didn’t realise the media scrutiny I had in Test cricket, but I’ve learnt a lot and now I’m looking forward,” he said.
He admitted he did have doubts over his England career. “There was a time I was speaking with my lawyers and looking at the fact that I could be banned for a couple of years and never play for England again. Someone else might come in and take my spot. There was definitely a time when I had doubts over my career. It all came good today,” he said.
He said he was naïve when he posted his distasteful comments on social media, and that he had undergone a social media training course. “I was young, 18, naïve guy. I made a lot of mistakes then, not just those tweets. I’ve grown as a person a lot in that time. I had negative press for getting sacked from Yorkshire as well. I’ve learnt a lot, and tried to develop myself as a person in the last 10 years. I am a father now as well; I just try to make myself the best person I can be. Hopefully, people will see that.”
Robinson, who models his bowling on Glenn McGrath and Josh Hazlewood, said he was aware he had a long road ahead of him. “I know there’s a long road ahead still, but it’s obviously nice to get the rewards today.”