England captain Joe Root praised Ollie Robinson’s “fantastic” performances after overcoming a turbulent start to his test career and said the fast bowler has impressed the rest of the team as they prepare for the Ashes series against Australia.
Robinson has taken 28 wickets from five tests so far, with 21 of those coming in four matches against India after serving a ban following offensive tweets that came to light during his test debut against New Zealand in June.
“You look at how Ollie’s taken to test cricket, he’s been fantastic. His performances have been very good and have stood up,” Root told reporters on Sunday. “He’s had to deal with some instances already in his career, so for him to be able to overcome that and still perform how he has is impressive in many ways.
Robinson, 28, said he wants to emulate Andrew Flintoff after being inspired by watching England during the 2006-07 Ashes series, which they lost 5-0, and is confident he can help deliver a different result.
The Gabba, which hosts the first of five tests between the teams starting Wednesday, has long been a fortress for Australia, and England have won only four of the 16 tests they have played at the venue, with the last of those victories coming in 1986.
“I haven’t been here (to Brisbane) before to play but I watched the test match here when I was 13. That was pretty special and I was lucky to be here,” Robinson told British media. “There were moments in that series that I remember, I think Freddie got 89 one day (in Sydney) and I remember thinking he just took it to the Aussies. Growing up that’s what I wanted to do and how I wanted to play my cricket.”