Ollie Robinson says he can succeed ‘role model’ James Anderson when England seamer retires

England prospect Ollie Robinson says fellow seamer James Anderson has been a “role model” for him – and that he hopes to take the 37-year-old’s Test place when he eventually retires.

Sussex paceman Robinson has been named in England’s 55-man back-to-training group for the summer, after taking 137 wickets across the last two seasons in County Championship Division Two.

The 26-year-old worked with Anderson – England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker – at a bowling camp in South Africa in late 2019 and says the veteran’s work ethic has inspired him.

“Being with Jimmy in South Africa this winter showed me a new way forward, seeing someone at the top of their game and how hard they still work,” Robinson told Sky Sports News.

“I think most English bowlers around the country look up to Jimmy – he has taken that many wickets and played for that many years that it’s hard to look past that.

“He’s definitely someone I look at as a role model and hopefully in the future I can almost take his place and fill the void. That’s definitely what I am aiming for.

“Ever since I started I have wanted to play Test cricket for England so the goal is red-ball cricket for me and my stats lean more that way as well.

“It’s very pleasing to get the nod – it’s something I have been working hard for for a few years. It’s always nice to get the recognition especially after a good couple of years in county cricket.”

Robinson’s stellar domestic form, including 63 scalps at 16.44 for Sussex in the 2019 Championship, saw him travel to Australia with England Lions this winter.

Australia was a really good tour for me and the group and we were raring to go so it’s a shame we haven’t been able to play cricket and push on ever further. Bowling the ball for the dog is not quite the same!

Ollie Robinson

The seamer picked up seven wickets in the match at the MCG as the Lions recorded a first-ever win over Australia A – but has now not bowled competitively since March due to the coronavirus lockdown, although he has returned to individual training at Hove.

“After having 10 weeks off as a bowler it is quite challenging getting the workload back in quickly. It will take time,” added Robinson, who also revealed when he may be able to test himself against batsmen in the nets.

“I bowled 16 overs last week and my body felt quite good so hopefully it only takes a couple of weeks [to regain peak fitness] and then it’s about maintaining that and hoping the body stays good for a long period of time.

“We had a chat on Zoom, about 60 of us, setting out each phase [of England’s back-to-training programme].

I have two sets of stumps, six balls and my own markers. No one is allowed to touch any of my kit – it’s almost like you are your own coach. But it’s just nice to be back bowling and back outside

Ollie Robinson

“I think it was three weeks on your own and then, Government-permitting, training in small groups, so the Sussex lads can join up with the Kent boys or the Surrey lads and do a bit of bat and ball.

“I think England are going to pick a smaller squad in five weeks and hopefully I will be involved in that.”

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