England names a 14-man team for the first two Tests against South Africa, with Ollie Robinson returning
England has called up Ollie Robinson for the upcoming home Test series against South Africa. Robinson, a right-arm seamer who last played a Test match in January this year against Australia, was able to make the 14-man squad for the first two games of the three-match series despite being sidelined by a variety of diseases for over two months.
He will be able to add to his nine Test caps after overcoming back problems, Covid-19, and dental issues. Despite having 39 dismissals at an average of 21.28, Robinson, 28, has had a rough start to his Test cricket career. His Lord’s debut was marred by the revelation of historically provocative tweets, but he overcame this to become England’s notable bowler of 2021 and gain a spot among Wisden’s five cricketers of the year.
Although he was chastised for his fitness during England’s 0-4 Ashes defeat, he was further chastised when he was unable to play in England’s March tour of the Caribbean. He began the summer of 2022 wanting to put that problem behind him, but by mid-May, back spasms and other aches and pains had restricted him to just four first-class outings.
Robinson, on the other hand, was back on track, as seen by his 4/44 and 5/66 numbers in his return County Championship game for Sussex against Nottinghamshire the other week, completing 36.1 overs. He will continue to establish his preparation for the field by playing for the England Lions in the four-day game against South Africa at Canterbury, which begins on August 9.
The selection committee finalized the roster on Monday in the presence of head coach Brendon McCullum, who was in New Zealand. He should be back in England by the beginning of next week. Notably, Robinson was anticipated to be a member of the Lions’ squad, which will be announced on Friday. However, since Surrey’s fast bowler Jamie Overton was injured, they picked Robinson for the main group.
Overton made his debut in the last Test against New Zealand at Headingley. Robinson was slated to play for Manchester Originals in The Hundred, which begins on Wednesday, August 3, but instead elected to remain at Sussex and compete in their Royal London Cup games.
Durham’s Matthew Potts, who profited from Robinson’s absence, has retained his position in the side despite having 18 dismissals in four Test matches this summer. Sam Billings, the wicketkeeper-batter, has not been selected since Ben Foakes recovered from his bout of Covid-19, which required him to be withdrawn during the Headingley Test.