The Ashes: Ollie Robinson looking to ‘unsettle’ Australia, feels England may have an edge before the first Test | Cricket News

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The Ashes: Ollie Robinson looking to ‘unsettle’ Australia, feels England may have an edge before the first Test |  Cricket News

England seamer Ollie Robinson on looking to get “under Australia’s skin”, being inspired by Andrew Flintoff, why the tourists may be a step ahead going into the Brisbane Test and what plans he has for Australia batter, and new vice-captain, Steve Smith

Last Updated: 04/12/21 7:06pm

Ollie Robinson feels England may have the edge going into the first Test against Australia in Brisbane from Wednesday

England seamer Ollie Robinson says he will not be afraid to get “under Australia’s skin” during the Ashes – and believes the tourists may have the edge going into the first Test in Brisbane.

Robinson has taken 28 wickets from five Tests so far, with 21 coming in four games against India after he had been given a short ban following offensive tweets from his past emerging.

The 28-year-old exchanged verbals with Virat Kohli’s side during the summer and is happy to do similar when he combats Pat Cummins’ Ashes holders this winter.

Preparation for both sides has been far from ideal due to wet weather and quarantine.

Australia, meanwhile, have not played a Test since January and with many of their squad arriving home only recently due to their T20 World Cup success, Robinson thinks England may have a head start.

I didn’t think at one stage I was going to be playing for England again. It’s been quite a rollercoaster over the last six to eight months. To be here with the team, it’s quite emotional. To hopefully play the first Test is going to be huge, a massive achievement, and something that I’ll never forget.

Ollie Robinson

The Sussex seamer said: “I don’t think I, as a person, could keep my head down if I tried.

“It’s just home fans here as well, so we have to be ready for them to come hard at us and the challenge is going to be tough.

“I’m definitely going to be trying to get under their skins and try and sort of unsettle them as it were, batters and bowlers really.

“If I can get them off their rhythm then we’re winning, so it’s something you’ll definitely see and hopefully we will come out on top.

England all-rounder Chris Woakes says he does not expect 'personal' issues to be used in any sledding during the upcoming Ashes series

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England all-rounder Chris Woakes says he does not expect ‘personal’ issues to be used in any sledding during the upcoming Ashes series

England all-rounder Chris Woakes says he does not expect ‘personal’ issues to be used in any sledding during the upcoming Ashes series

“It’s obviously not been ideal preparation, it’s been tough, but as a group we feel we’ve made do with what we’ve been given. We feel in a good place and we feel ahead of the Aussies which is the main thing.

“They were at the World Cup (final) and in quarantine so they are probably a few weeks behind us.

“We feel like we have some good work in us since being here and hopefully that will give us the edge in the first Test. I feel we are definitely the underdogs but we can take the urn home.”

Robinson was part of the England Lions squad that beat Australia A in an unofficial Test for the first time in February 2020, taking seven wickets with the pink Kookaburra ball at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

He was also inspired by watching England – Andrew Flintoff, in particular – live during the 2006/07 Ashes, with his father, Ian haven taken him to Australia on holiday during the Christmas period.

Robinson was inspired by watching Andrew Flintoff at close quarters during the 2006/07 Ashes

Robinson was inspired by watching Andrew Flintoff at close quarters during the 2006/07 Ashes

“I haven’t been here [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.

“There were moments in that series [which England lost 5-0] that I remember, I think ‘Freddie’ got 80 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. It’s massively inspiring to watch that as a youngster and now hopefully try and emulate how Flintoff and other players went about it.”

Australia vice-captain Steve Smith says he understands some people will not be happy with his appointment following the ball-tampering scandal in 2018

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Australia vice-captain Steve Smith says he understands some people will not be happy with his appointment following the ball-tampering scandal in 2018

Australia vice-captain Steve Smith says he understands some people will not be happy with his appointment following the ball-tampering scandal in 2018

Now Robinson has Steve Smith in his sights.

“He plays a lot of balls from deep in his crease, his contact points are a lot deeper than other batters. So my lengths might have to be slightly different to him.

“If you start to starve him of his scoring areas, he seems to want to score. He’s not someone that will just sit there and block all day. Hopefully, he’ll make the mistake or if the ball is moving I can get him lbw or nick off.

“Out here it’s a bit harder with the ball not moving as much but I’ve looked at him and Marnus Labuschagne quite in depth and hopefully have a plan for both.”

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