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England sweat on Ollie Robinson's fitness

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14th January, 2022

England bowling coach Jon Lewis concedes Ollie Robinson needs to work on his fitness after the seamer suffered an apparent back spasm on the opening day of the fifth Ashes Test.

Robinson removed David Warner and Steve Smith cheaply with the new ball but was able to bowl just eight overs for the day as Australia rebounded to 6-241.

The tourists, already without the bowling services of all-rounder Ben Stokes because of a side strain, were forced to turn to ten overs of spin from captain Joe Root.

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“At the moment, from what I gather, he has a back spasm,” Lewis said.


“Those things can come and go. We’re hoping with treatment overnight… he can be free enough to bowl.”

Lewis said the decision to leave Robinson on the field was to ensure he’d be allowed to bowl again on Saturday.

Robinson, who is England’s leading wicket-taker for the tour with 11 despite being rested from the fourth Test at the SCG, was in his element on a green-top Bellerive Oval deck.

Ollie Robinson of England bowls

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

However, Lewis said the 28-year-old needed to improve his fitness, describing it as “definitely a work-on”.

“It’s something he needs to improve. He’s got a record of playing a lot of games of county cricket,” Lewis said.


“Playing international cricket is a higher intensity and you play all year around. He’s got to get used to understanding what it takes to be a full-time, year-round international cricketer.

“In the times we’re in, everything is really squashed together. There’s not a great deal of rest and recuperation between games.

“That’s something he is going to have to deal with. It is one of his things he really needs to work on.”

Stuart Broad (2-48) shouldered 18 overs of the 59.3 bowled on a day that was cut short due to persistent drizzle.