ENG vs NZ 2022: Ollie Robinson’s hopes of a Test recall have suffered a major setback after he was forced to withdraw from the County Select XI which will face the touring New Zealand squad at Chelmsford on Thursday, after complaining of stiffness in his back during the pre-match warm-up.
Ollie Robinson who was named as Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year made his Test debut almost 12 months back against New Zealand at Lord’s where he grabbed the limelight for his historical offensive tweets. However, he overcame the controversy & bounced back stronger by scalping seven wickets in a fixture & strengthened his position as one of the best pacers in England’s Cricket.
He went on to claim 28 wickets at 19.60 in his maiden home season and proved that his method could be effective overseas as well by scalping 11 wickets at 25.54 in England’s Ashes campaign. However, doubts about his fitness began to surface during the Ashes tour after Ollie Robinson missed the Sydney Test & bowled just 19 overs across two innings in the series finale at Hobart after succumbing to a back spasm.
Having been selected for England’s three-match Test series against West Indies in the absence of two key pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad – Robinson suffered a recurrence of his back spasm during England’s solitary warm-up in Antigua and did not play even a single game in the series which was clinched by Windies with 1-0 score.
Upon his return to the game with County Cricket for Sussex club, Robinson suffered numerous disruptions including a tooth infection that delayed his first appearance until their fixture against Middlesex in early May. However, in his first fixture against Middlesex, he impressed one & all by scalping five wickets in the first innings. But unfortunately, a bout of food poisoning then hampered his next appearance against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
Already being omitted from England’s squad for the first two Tests of the New Zealand tour, and with the Vitality Blast now dominating the county schedules, Robinson now has a solitary Championship game, against Glamorgan in Cardiff from June 12, to prove his mettle with the ball & get included in the Third Test at Headingley, which begins on June 23.
In Robinson’s absence, Middlesex’s Ethan Bamber has been called into the Select XI squad as cover but was not named in the playing XI.
Prior to the beginning of the three-match Test series against England, the touring party was slated to play two warm-up fixtures, one against Surrey club from May 20 to 23 & the secodn fixture against FCC XI on May 26. After the end of the ongoing second warm-up fixture, the England vs New Zealand three-match Test series will begin on June 2. The second Test is slated to be played in Nottingham on June 10 while the third & final Test of the series will be held at Headingley from June 23.
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