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Ollie Robinson wants to emulate Flintoff by ‘bringing it to the Aussies’ in the Ashes

Ollie Robinson wants to emulate Freddie Flintoff by taking him to the Aussies’ in the Ashes after being inspired as a schoolchild while watching England’s 2006-07 team on holiday

  • The Ashes’ first test kicks off on Wednesday at The Gabba in Brisbane
  • Ollie Robinson will be deeply involved in England’s endeavors as a navigator
  • Robinson back on track after discriminatory tweets after his debut



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Ollie Robinson dropped out of school to take an Ashes series Down Under and experienced the joy of beating Australians on their home soil during his apprenticeship. Now for graduation at the Gabba.

Robinson, 28, certainly looks set to be one of the sailors England is investing in to take advantage of what is expected to be extremely bowler-friendly conditions in Brisbane later this week.

Selection will be the fulfillment of a dream inspired by his 13-year-old self who recognizes the good in the 2006-07 side, whitewashed by an Australia determined to take revenge.

England's Ollie Robinson wants to make an impact on the Ashes, which starts on Wednesday

England’s Ollie Robinson wants to make an impact on the Ashes, which starts on Wednesday

Robinson remembers watching Freddie Flintoff during the 2006-07 Ashes and was inspired

Robinson remembers watching Freddie Flintoff during the 2006-07 Ashes and was inspired

Robinson remembers watching Freddie Flintoff during the 2006-07 Ashes and was inspired

“There were moments in that series, like when Freddie Flintoff got 89 one day, when England took it to the Aussies and growing up that’s what I wanted to do,” said Robinson, whose father Ian asked for extra leave during The King’s term. School, Canterbury, to shoot a month of that particular series.

‘That’s how I wanted to play my cricket. It was really inspiring to see that as a youngster and now hopefully try to emulate Flintoff and how other players did too.”

There were fears he would join the one-cap wonder club when historic racist and sexist tweets emerged during his test debut against New Zealand last summer, but he re-emerged after serving his suspension in remorse and determination for a second chance to cash in.

“I thought at one point that I wouldn’t play for England anymore. So it’s been quite a roller coaster in the last six to eight months and to be here and be with the team it’s quite an emotional time for me,” he said.

Robinson has reached a critical juncture in his career as he enjoys a second chance

Robinson has reached a critical juncture in his career as he enjoys a second chance

Robinson has reached a critical juncture in his career as he enjoys a second chance

“To come here and hopefully play the first Test will be huge for me, a huge achievement and something I will never forget.”

So far, cricket in Australia has brought good vibes. Last February, more than 12 months before his full international debut, Robinson’s ability to extrapolate extra bounce from his 6ft 5in frame combined with knowledge of the crease use gained from playing Sydney grade cricket alongside Josh Hazlewood, him seven wickets in a crushing England Lions win over Australia A – the first success by an England second series over Australian counterparts.

It also gave him competition experience using a Kookaburra ball. He says the 2021-22 batch they got to warm up on the Gold Coast had a thicker finish and was closer to the Duke’s used in home testing.

“The ball feels like it’s swung a little more this time. That is of course a bonus for us. If the balls stay like that, we feel like we can get early wickets and really come out on top,” Robinson said.

“We found in our exhibition game that he waved after lunch, when the ball was 25-30 overs old, which he probably hasn’t done in the past.”

Despite limited preparation caused by a mandatory 14-day quarantine on the Gold Coast and four of the seven scheduled match days that have been washed away following the move to Brisbane, Robinson believes England are further down the road from two teams each passing through India. have been defeated in their most recent test campaigns.

“Australia was at the World Cup and in quarantine, so they are probably a few weeks behind us. Hopefully that will give us a head start in the first Test,” said the Sussex man, who has built a reputation as a thinking bowler collecting 28 wickets in his first five international appearances.

So, what does he think of Steve Smith, the Australian thorn in the side of late?

“I suppose he’s different. I looked at how he got out and where he plays the ball from,” Robinson said. “He plays a lot of balls from deep in his crease, his contact points are much deeper than other batters. So my heights may have to be slightly different from his.

“I just watched videos of how he got out and how, and also the run-up to how he got out.

“When you start starving him from his scoring areas, he seems to want to score. He’s not one to sit and block all day.’

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