Robinson says England 'believe they can stick one on' on Australia

Ollie Robinson says England ‘really believe they can stick one’ on rivals Australia in Ashes series as pace ace insists his bullish predictions will help gee up some of his ‘quiet’ teammates

  • Robinson has doubled down on claim England can give Australia a ‘good hiding’
  • He is unafraid to ruffle Australian feathers ahead of Ashes series this summer
  • ‘Am I impressed with Bazball? Annoyingly, yes!’, admits Aussie legend McGrath

Ollie Robinson has modelled himself on Glenn McGrath as a bowler and clearly enjoys taking a leaf out of the Australian legend’s book when it comes to issuing Ashes rallying cries.

Just as McGrath always takes great delight in predicting a 5-0 thrashing for the Poms whenever the Ashes comes around so Robinson is unafraid to ruffle Australian feathers ahead of one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of the old enemies in modern times.

Firstly the man who has become one of England’s best and most important bowlers said last week he wanted to give Australia ‘a good hiding’ in an Ashes series that will begin on June 16 – and he was at it again at the Sussex media day on Wednesday when Robinson added he wanted England to ‘stick one on’ their bitter rivals.

‘I was talking to local radio in Sussex but I was happy when it got out to a wider audience,’ said Robinson of his ‘good hiding’ comment as he looked forward to the biggest summer of his career. 

‘I mean, it’s been happening in every Ashes series for years – McGrath says 5-0 to them and we say 5-0 to us. It’s one of the biggest series we play so why not talk it up? Get it going, get it big and give the fans what they want.

Ollie Robinson is unafraid to ruffle Australian feathers ahead of Ashes series this summer

Glenn McGrath has predicted that Australia will win the Ashes 5-0 vs England this summer

‘I think things like this and the odd comment on the field get me going and hopefully it will bring some of the boys with me to get them going as well. We’ve got a few characters who are naturally quiet so sometimes it helps to gee them up a bit. It works for us.’

Robinson believes his confidence ahead of the Ashes is shared by his team-mates on the back of the revolution in Test cricket that has seen England win 10 of their 12 matches under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, all earned in ultra-positive style.

‘The cricket we’re playing at the moment makes it such an exciting time to play Australia,’ said Robinson. ‘We’ve been dominating teams in all conditions for 12 months now and the way we’re playing we believe we can really stick one on Australia and win the series comfortably. We have huge confidence from one to 11 and it puts us in a great position for the summer.’

Robinson inadvertently became the symbol of all that was wrong with England’s last Ashes humiliation in Australia before the advent of ‘Bazball’ when he became the last man bowled, virtually backing away, at the end of the final Test in Hobart. It gives him extra motivation to hit back now.

‘There’s a desire there still and a hunger to put that right,’ he said. ‘I felt when I got back from that trip I’d let myself and the side down a bit. There’s a few other fellas in the same position as me so there’s a lot of hungry boys wanting to beat Australia this summer.’

Meanwhile new Sussex coach Paul Farbrace has defended the controversial decision of the county to sign Steve Smith for three matches in a County Championship season that begins next week as the former Australia captain seeks practice in English conditions ahead of the Ashes.

‘Steven has been playing in England since he was 17,’ said the former England assistant coach. ‘His mum came from Maidstone and I got very excited about signing him for Kent when he first came here but his dad was adamant he was going to play for Australia. I thought ‘I’m not sure about that’ but clearly his dad is a better judge of a player than I am!

‘The opportunities are there for players to play around the world now and I really don’t think it matters that he will be playing here before the Ashes. I actually think we are doing English cricket a massive favour because we want to keep county cricket strong and we want the best players in the world to play for our counties.

The pace ace made the bullish prediction at the Sussex media day on Wednesday

‘In Tom Haines we’ve got a player who could very well be playing for England in the next 12 to 18 months. If he spends a month with Steve Smith, batting in the middle with him and learning about international cricket from him, then Steve is doing English cricket a huge favour.‘

Smith is not the only Australian warming up for the Ashes in England, with Marnus Labuschagne playing for Glamorgan while fringe batsmen Peter Handscomb and Cameron Bancroft have signed for Leicestershire and Somerset respectively. But Farbrace, who has made it his mission to improve the mentality among Sussex’s under-achieving red-ball players, is unabashed.

‘I want county cricket to be the best it can be,’ added Farbrace. ‘I’m a huge fan of county cricket and I’m also a huge fan of the England side and I want us to win the Ashes 5-0. I hope we give them a good hiding too.

‘But I didn’t think ‘oh no, we’re giving Steve Smith a chance to get ready’. We’re not. I hope he scores runs for us and wins us games of cricket but I hope the likes of Haines and others take the opportunity to learn from him and do English cricket that massive favour.’

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