England receive Ashes boost ahead of Manchester Test

F.P. Report

DUBAI: England’s Ashes hopes have received a boost with news that burly pacer Ollie Robinson will be fit for the crucial fourth Test in Manchester.

Robinson suffered a back spasm on the opening day of the third Test in Leeds and failed to bowl during Australia’s second innings as England clinched a narrow three-wicket victory to stay alive in the race for the Ashes.

But the 29-year-old has hosed down any issues of the injury lingering and has declared himself 100 percent fit and ready to take on Australia at Old Trafford from July 19.

“That medical team said that it’s likely to have happened because I played back-to-back Test matches, and bowled 15 overs of bumpers at Lord’s,” Robinson wrote in his column for Wisden.com.

“So sometimes these things come around, but then they go just as quickly as well. I’m 100 percent fit for Manchester.”

Fellow seamer Stuart Broad (16 wickets) is the only England player with more scalps than Robinson (10) this Ashes series and it now appears Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes have a selection dilemma on their hands as they try and squeeze all their quality quicks into the final XI for Manchester.

Mark Wood and Chris Woakes both impressed in Headingley as England reduced the series deficit to 2-1, while Broad is now seemingly the first-choice seamer given his recent dominance over Australia opener David Warner.

Veteran quick James Anderson and inexperienced seamer Josh Tongue have also been used by England at times this series and the duo have once again been named in a 14-player squad for the pivotal fourth Test of an already epic series.

Robinson said it was an honour to be involved in the first three matches of the series and he is hoping he can continue to make an impact as the series progresses.

“I’ve got mates who have never really enjoyed cricket messaging me saying how good it is,” Robinson wrote.

“It’s an amazing thing to be a part of. It makes me proud to be English to be honest, to see the impact it’s having on people, and seeing them loving what we’re doing. In the end, that’s why we play the game. For the glory of it.”

England squad for fourth Test: Ben Stokes (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Josh Tongue, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood