Virat Kohli ‘has got a big ego..’: England’s pacer Ollie Robinson comments ahead of Test series


For Robinson, this will not be his first tour to India as he travelled as a ‘reserve’ back in 2021. During that time, Robinson had spent a lot of time training, serving drinks to his teammates or just staying inside the hotel.

However, the pacer has evolved a lot, having taken 76 wickets in 19 Tests at an average of 22.21, with the best bowling figures of 5/81.

During Ashes against Australia, Robinson took 10 wickets in three Tests before an injury caused him to miss the final two matches. Since then, he has not played any competitive cricket.

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“It is why I am really looking forward to this tour. Last time we did not have full-capacity crowds either, so it is going to be incredible to experience,” said Ollie as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.

The five test matches between Indian and England will be played in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Ranchi, Rajkot and Dharamshala. England will be arriving in India and will be led by skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum. This examination against spin bowling and turning pitches excites Robinson.

“You feel like you do not know what you are preparing for, which is a challenge I have not really had yet,” said Ollie.

“On this tour, it will be about being adaptable; look at the pitch a day or two before and assess how it will play, or try to get clues from the nets on the square. It will be a different challenge but one that I am looking forward to because it will engage my cricket-nuffy brain,” he added.

In the last series against India at home, Ollie made some great memories for himself, taking a total of 21 wickets on the tour. He also got the prized wicket of Virat thrice and had a war of words with him.

Robinson is looking forward to more of the same.

“I actually saw the video of me walking out to bat at Lord’s a couple of days ago. I think [Mohammed] Siraj bowled the ball that hit length and hit me in the chest. And in the video, all the Indian players surround me and Kohli is saying… well, I cannot remember what he said,” said Robinson.

“You always want to play against the best players, do not you? And you always want to get the best players out. Kohli is one of those. He has got a big ego and I think playing on that, especially in India, where he is going to want to dominate and score runs, playing on the fact we’ve had battles in the past, is exciting,” he added.

Also, this is Robinson’s first tour following pace legend Stuart Broad’s retirement. In his absence, Robinson could be on the verge of becoming a new-ball specialist for England.

Not looking too far ahead into any sort of role, he just wants him to do well for England and cement his spot in the side.

“The last time it happened [playing ahead of James Anderson and Broad] was before the Caribbean tour in 2022. Jimmy and Broady did not get selected, all the pressure was on me to lead the attack, and then I went out there and got a back spasm in a warm-up game.”

“I prepared like I was going to be the leader of the attack for years, and probably looked too far ahead, if anything. I think now, maturing a little bit and knowing what can happen, I am preparing like I am playing another series and just going to do my best for England. Not looking too far ahead, not looking to be the leader of the attack or anything like that. Support Jimmy, support the spinners, and just support the team.”

“If I can have a big tour in India, then it should set me up for a while. If I do well, I can cement myself back in the team,” he concluded.

Squads:

England Test squad: Ben Stokes (c), Rehan Ahmed, James Anderson, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Shoaib Bashir, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Tom Hartley, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root and Mark Wood.

Indian Squad for the first two Tests: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, and Avesh Khan.

With agency inputs. 

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Published: 20 Jan 2024, 11:01 PM IST

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