OLLIE ROBINSON has packed more drama into his four Test matches than many cricketers manage in a lifetime.
And we have established one thing – he is a very fine international bowler.
Robinson was the principal weapon as England ripped through India’s batting on the fourth morning of the Third Test and took eight wickets in just 103 minutos.
It completed a remarkable turnaround by England who, less than a week ago, appeared to have the momentum and force running fatally against them.
Pero, No. India made a duff decision at the toss, England’s bowlers exploited helpful conditions, Joe Root found some allies with the bat and then Robinson and Co wrecked India’s second innings.
It added up to a crushing victory by an innings and 76 carreras, a 1-1 series score and Root becoming the ‘winningest’ England Test captain of all time.
With the likes of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, Olly Stone and Ben Stokes injured, the emergence of Robinson has been perhaps England’s biggest bonus of the summer.
After four Tests, he has 23 wickets at 17.65 apiece. The crowd have taken to him, también, with the Barmy Army trumpeter leading regular choruses of ‘Here’s to you, Ollie Robinson…’ to the tune of the Simon and Garfunkel hit, Mrs.Robinson.
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He is accurate, agresivo, relentless and gains enough movement to trouble the best batsmen. As Virat Kohli discovered on Saturday.
All this after the row over his historical tweets that were unearthed on his first day as an England player.
There’s no need to harp on about those – other than to say he feared he could be banned for the whole summer and the way he has overcome the furore suggests strength of character and single-mindedness.
Player of the Match Robinson said: “It’s a very special day and I don’t feel it’s settled in yet. One of the great days in my cricket career – to get my first Test win and take the vital wickets is really special.
“The crowd was unbelievable. The noise when we got Kohli was deafening, just an unbelievable experience.
“Coming into Test cricket has been after a few hard years. I’ve had to work hard to get here so to get the rewards in the four Tests I’ve played has been very pleasing.
I’m living my boyhood dream, captaining England. It’s something I dreamed of doing from being really small. We have a great group of players who are talented and dedicated to becoming better.
“I’ve been up with the leading wicket-takers in county cricket over the last three or four years and getting out good players. So I was confident I could step up to Test cricket and do the same.
“And I’m learning so much from Jimmy Anderson. Since I’ve come into the England environment, he’s been one of my closest friends. I speak to him every day.
“He showed me the grip for the wobble seam ball before this match and I practised it in the nets. Then I tried it in the game here and it went quite well.”
After India’s resistance on Friday, England thought they would need to be patient.
But wickets soon began to fall. Primero, Cheteshwar Pujara offered no shot to Robinson and, although England’s appeal was turned down by umpire Richard Kettleborough, a review showed the ball smashing the stumps.
Pujara failed to add to an overnight score – 91 on this occasion – for the sixth time in his career.
Kohli was given out caught behind off Anderson and appeared to start walking. But non-striker Ajinkya Rahane persuaded him to review and replays showed he hit his pad with his bat rather than the ball.
Kohli reached his first fifty of the series with a clip through mid-wicket off Robinson and straight drove another boundary. But then the tall Sussex bowler found his edge – and Root snaffled the chance at first slip.
In the next over, Rahane edged Anderson. It was Anderson’s 400th Test wicket in England and his 630th in all.
Rishabh Pant prodded Robinson to third slip and Moeen Ali bowled Mohammed Shami through the gate. Robinson collected his fifth wicket when Ishant Sharma nicked behind.
Craig Overton took the final two wickets and India had lost eight wickets for just 63 carreras.
Root added: “Ollie has been phenomenal. He’s had a big influence on all the Tests he’s played. We knew how skilful he was but it was a question of whether he could back it up in his third spell with an old ball.
“He’s shown he can do that time and time again with big workloads under his belt.”
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