Birmingham: England pacer Ollie Robinson has said that he ‘doesn’t care’ about how his celebration for the wicket of opener Usman Khawaja was perceived in the Australia dressing room, adding that he is “here to provide that theatre of the game” during the ongoing Ashes 2023.
Robinson removed Khawaja for 141 on the third day of the first Test, knocking back his off stump as he came down the pitch looking to force the ball through the off side. The pacer appeared to swear towards Khawaja during his celebrations.
“It’s my first home Ashes and to get the big wicket at the time was special for me. I think Uzzie played unbelievably well. To get that wicket for us as a team at the time was massive. We all want that theatre of the game, don’t we? So I’m here to provide it,” Robinson said.
Asked whether abusing an opponent could really be considered part of the theatre of the game, Robinson suggested that it was simply part of “the passion of the Ashes”, citing Australian players historically doing the same towards England teams.
“No, it’s not.But I think when you’re in the heat of the moment and you have the passion of the Ashes, that can happen. We’ve all seen Ricky Ponting, other Aussies do the same to us. Just because the shoe is on the other foot, it’s not received well,” the England pacer said.
The 29-year old was further asked if the outburst towards Khawaja might have been received by the Australian dressing-room and the pacer said he doesn’t care.
“I don’t really care how it’s perceived, to be honest. It’s the Ashes. It’s professional sport. If you can’t handle that, what can you handle?,” Robinson said.
Meanwhile, Australia’s wicketkeeper Alex Carey said that he had only heard about Robinson’s send-off when he was briefed by the team’s media manager while walking to the press conference room.
“I didn’t see it at all.Usman hasn’t said anything. It’s an Ashes – at times it’s going to be pretty exciting and hostile cricket, but I actually was sitting there disappointed at getting out and didn’t see anything over the top there. From our dressing-room, there was no comment,” Carey said.
Robinson finished with figures of 3 for 55 as Australia were bowled out for 386, trailing England by seven runs in the first innings.
The visitors scored at 3.32 runs per over in their first innings, compared to England’s 5.03 runs per over on the first day of the Test match, and Robinson suggested that England’s aggressive style of cricket under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum had thrown Australia off their characteristically attacking style.
“We’ve made them play in the way that they have. The aggressive nature of the way that we’ve gone about it – batting and bowling – has made them play more defensively. It’s not normally something that you see from an Australian side but the way that we’re playing under Ben and Baz is causing that to happen,” he said.
Robinson added that England would ideally need a day to bowl Australia out: “90 overs, if they had a score to chase, would allow us to bowl them out. If they were playing for the draw and playing defensively like they have done so far in this game, it might be slightly different.
“We’ll have to wait and see. The pitch is deteriorating a little bit. When we’re fresh again with a harder ball, we can make inroads early, so I have no doubt that we can take 10 wickets early and wrap things up.”
England closed a heavily rain-affected Day 3 on 28-2, with a lead of 35 and Joe Root, Ollie Pope unbeaten at the crease.