Sam Rob­son

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - By Jeremy Black­more

The Middlesex man still has am­bi­tions to play Test cricket

FOUR years af­ter mak­ing his in­ter­na­tional de­but, Middlesex’s Sam Rob­son still har­bours strong am­bi­tions of an Eng­land re­call and be­lieves he is play­ing bet­ter than ever.

Dur­ing the re­cent de­bate about Eng­land’s top or­der for the Ashes, some com­men­ta­tors sug­gested that Rob­son, 28, who played seven Tests in 2014, was picked too early and could do a job for Eng­land this win­ter.

The Aus­tralian born opener av­er­ages 41 in the Cham­pi­onship this sum­mer, with a high­est score of 159 against York­shire, and feels his best years are still ahead.

“I loved my time in the Test side,” said Rob­son, who passed 8,000 ca­reer first-class runs in the Cham­pi­onship match against Hamp­shire at Uxbridge ear­lier this month. “I felt like I didn’t do enough at the time to hold my place, which was dis­ap­point­ing, but I cer­tainly don’t look back on it as a fail­ure. There were some pos­i­tives to come away with, a Test hun­dred, a 50 and to be in­volved in a se­ries win against In­dia.

“I look back on it with fond mem­o­ries, al­beit I didn’t do quite enough, but I’d love to play for Eng­land again. I’ll al­ways be striv­ing to get back there.

“When I played Test cricket, I was young and I feel like I am a bet­ter player now. I’m play­ing as well as I have ever done. I hope to keep im­prov­ing over the com­ing years as well. I feel like my best years are ahead of me.”

What does Rob­son credit for the way his game has de­vel­oped? “You can pin­point lit­tle tech­ni­cal things, but that’s prob­a­bly sec­ondary re­ally.

“I think I’m more ex­pe­ri­enced; you play more, you get to know your game bet­ter. Men­tally, you’ve been in those sit­u­a­tions that maybe, when you’re younger, you’ve only been in once or twice and as you get on you’ve seen more, so you know how to deal with what­ever it is, dif­fer­ent bowlers, times when the side’s in trou­ble or what­ever. So, I do think you keep de­vel­op­ing.”

Rob­son has played for Middlesex since mov­ing to Lon­don from New South Wales in 2008 and it’s clear the county holds a spe­cial place in his heart: “I love play­ing for Middlesex. I’ve been here for a fair while now and hope­fully can be here for a few more years to come if I keep play­ing well.

“There have been a lot of spe­cial times over the years that I’ll never for­get.”

Mean­while, Rob­son is back­ing his team­mate Dawid Malan to do well in Aus­tralia this win­ter: “He’s been a con­sis­tent player in county cricket for many years now. He’s at a good age and I think his best years are to come.

“This sum­mer, he got a cou­ple of cru­cial Test fifties and they were in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions with the ball seam­ing around. It was tough work, so I think he’ll do well. He’s got a good, sound game, he plays well off both feet, he pulls well, he cuts well, he’s a good driver.”

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Play it again Sam: Middlesex’s Sam Rob­son has seven Test ap­pear­ances for Eng­land, with the last in 2014

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