September 30, 2022
England vs South Africa, 3rd Test


On the day cricket took the lead in the game at the Kia Oval to honor Queen Elizabeth II and honor the new King Charles III, it was Ollie Robinson who led England to victory in this match and series.

On the third day of the Third Test, the first of any game since Thursday’s rain and the cancellation of Friday in honor of Rani’s death, Robinson’s 5 for 49 helped South Africa bundle out for 118 in their first innings . Overall, with the hosts’ own missteps at the end of Saturday, they lead 36 and with three wickets still in hand.

A recall in the second Test at Emirates Old Trafford at the expense of Matthew Potts represented a new chapter for Robinson, leaving him behind with injury and general fitness issues for five (1 for 48 and 4 for 43) in the match. In form, England equalized. An innings and 85 runs win. These five in the span of 14 overs, which are not only career-best but also made him one of 50 victims in his 11th appearance, reinforced the confidence shown in him by captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum and Underscored the hard work he has put in to re-establish himself in the XI.

The precision and ability to manipulate the ball to outfox even the most seasoned pros – such as when he took Dean Elgar’s off-stump for a walk in the second over of the match – is now reinforced by a little extra speed and stamina. According to Krikwicz, his average speed this season, believed to be only three innings long, is 82.9 mph—the highest of the three he’s played so far. Others are summer 2021 (80.9mph) and Australia winter 2021-22 (79.2mph).

It’s an improvement he fully recognizes, especially how he stacks up in subsequent spells, not that the Proteas needed only 36.2 overs to get out first. Nevertheless, the spell of the opening eight overs of 4 for 21 was relentless for the entire time.

“I don’t think much is different,” Robinson said at a post-match press conference. ,[I’m] Still focusing on the same things – accuracy, bounce, a little bit of speed. The things we’ve noticed a little bit more later in the day, my pace has been at a higher level 12 months ago than I’ve really worked on in the last three or four months. Those second, third and fourth mantras, they have a little more intensity than the first.”

He said the circumstances were tailor-made for his style. Stokes’ win at the toss two days earlier was more relevant, as it was only cloudy but not that much rain, just a delay for rain that was not enough to lose the over.

“With the weather, the wicket was under cover for three days, it felt like a bowler was going to get bagful,” said Robinson, who currently claims an average of 19.79. “Luckily it was me and it put the team in a great position going forward.”

There was also an admission that he was not in his most comfortable form. Operating with the new ball from the pavilion end, James Anderson (1 for 16) opened from Vauxhall’s end, having trouble with his approach.

“I was really not feeling that good. My run-up was everywhere, not finding a rhythm, I was really trying to focus on smashing the length. I felt better at Old Trafford Happened, obviously ‘don’t get the award, but it’s not the best I’ve felt.

Nevertheless, Robinson’s exploits led the England and Wales Cricket Board to be considered the most successful on the pitch for some time. The decision to continue the match was not taken lightly, needed to be led with public mourning and a huge responsibility to celebrate the change in monarchy as an honour. From the moment of silence, to the rendition of “God Save the King”, the gloominess that adorned the ground, it was note-perfect. At the center of it all, the players were appreciating the opportunity to pay their respects.

Robinson said, “It felt special. It felt like a really special morning to be a part of it. It was a huge honor for us to share our honor the way we did and to follow in those footsteps.” The silence we experienced is something none of us have ever experienced. It only reflects the respect and respect that we have for the past few days.

“The message from Ben was very clear: just go out there, stay positive and try and force a result, play brave cricket, and I think we did that here.”

ESPNcricinfo. Associate Editor Vithushan Anthrajah

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