It’s one thing to plan, entirely another to execute: England’s debutant pacer Ollie Robinson had such one moment to savour, as he fulfilled his publicly expressed desire to dismiss New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson at Lord’s on Day 4 of the first Test.
Heading into his first-ever outing for the three lions in Test whites, Robinson had said he wishes to get the better of Williamson among the Kiwi batsmen and has also prepared quite earnestly for it.
“I can’t say too much in case the New Zealand guys see this but I have done a lot of work on their top four. Kane Williamson is obviously the main one,” Ollie Robinson was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.
“It looks like swinging the ball away from him, setting him up, pulling him across and then using the crease with the nip backer to get him lbw looks like a solid option. That will be Plan A and if he gets runs we’ve got Plans B and C in the background.”
Robinson missed out on Williamson’s wicket in the first half, but dismissed the great batsman in the second and did so exactly how he had planned for it.
Ollie Robinson executes plan against Kane Williamson to perfection
Williamson, who has notably changed his guard to off-stump, was drawn further towards that side of the wicket by Ollie Robinson’s outswingers, before he delivered the killer punch and got him out with a skidder that pinned the batsman in front of the leg-stump.
That Robinson dismissed a player renowned for playing late and under his eyes in such a fashion showed how far he had brought Williamson into the trap.
Given not out on the field, it did seem in the real time that the ball would sail over the stumps. But England skipper Joe Root still took a chance and went for the review, which, much to his own surprise, proved to be the right call as the ball-tracking technology predicted the delivery to be hitting the top of leg-stump.
— CricXtasy (@CricXtasy) June 6, 2021
The wicket-ball came on the third delivery of the 25th over of the Kiwi second-innings. Ollie Robinson nearly had his man on the previous delivery as well, where Williamson was given out on the field after a nip-backer but was reprieved after a last-minute decision to opt for the review. Williamson seemed to have reviewed the decision for height. However, he was saved by a faint nick that even he didn’t look aware of.
The dismissal and the whole set-up reflected Robinson’s control and consistency, developed through the hard grind at the first-class level playing for Sussex. The fast-bowler may not be real quick through the air or off the deck but knows where to put the ball to good batsmen and dismiss them.
Ollie Robinson entered the Test arena earlier in the week with a stellar record to his name at the domestic level, having taken 279 wickets from 63 matches at only 21.04 runs per piece. Robinson was pick of the bowlers in the first-innings with a spell of 4/75 and has already added a couple of scalps to his kitty in the second.
Through his exploits, Robinson has also displayed strong temperament and composure, as he was made to apologise after Day 1 for his inappropriate remarks made eight years ago over social media and faced heavy criticism for the same.
Ollie Robinson’s inclusion bolsters England’s pace department, especially as the three lions look for people who give the attack an edge ahead of the Ashes trip later in the year.