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Robinson: England close to being world’s best Test team

England seamer Ollie Robinson believes the Test team are “close to being the best in the world” ahead of the start of the cricketing summer.

Ben Stokes’ side were beaten 4-1 in their most recent Test tour of India over the winter but let fantastic opportunities to win the third and fourth Tests slip through their fingers.

Robinson, who played only in the fourth Test in Ranchi, was a guilty party in dropping Dhruv Jurel on 59 in India’s first innings as he went on to score a crucial 90 in the slender five-wicket win.

“We were really close to reversing that result,” Robinson told Sky Sports News.

“Obviously a catch I dropped in the fourth Test would have helped us but, no, we feel like 4-1 was undeserved really. We played some really good cricket and maybe on another tour it could have been 3-2 to us, who knows?

“But the brand of cricket that we’re playing is really good to watch for fans and good to play in. I think we’re really close to being the best in the world, to be honest. A few one percenters here and there and we can really dominate the world of cricket.”

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Ollie Robinson discusses Ben Stokes’ decision to make himself unavailable for selection for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as he focuses on building his bowling fitness back up

“We all know how passionate he is about playing for England and also how hungry he is to get back to the top level and be the best all-rounder in the world. It’s going to be better to have the best Ben Stokes possible back out on the field bowling for England.”

Ollie Robinson on Ben Stokes opting out of the T20 World Cup

Robinson’s dropped catch and 13 wicketless overs for the cost of 54 runs (including six no-balls) was a hugely disappointing return in his only outing in India, with a previous back injury flaring up during the match.

Back fit ahead of the start of the domestic cricket season on Friday – Robinson’s Sussex kicking off their County Championship campaign at home to Northamptonshire in Division Two – the 30-year-old is hopeful of finding some form and fitness ahead of the start of England’s Test summer against the West Indies in July.

“Very frustrating to me,” Robinson said, reflecting on the India series. “I put in a lot of hard work before and during that tour. I waited to the fourth Test to get a game and so for my back to give me jip again was very disappointing.

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Speaking on the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast, Michael Atherton says bowler Ollie Robinson needs a run of regular cricket if he is to rediscover his top form

“I’ve been working hard since I’ve been home to put that right and hopefully I can do that for Sussex in the upcoming weeks.

“I had a scan last week and that was all clear, which is really pleasing to hear. For me, I just need to do everything I possibly can to stay fit and stay on the park.

“I am quite a rhythmical bowled, so to play games of cricket and get that match intensity is key for me. Hopefully I can play four or five games for Sussex leading into the Test matches and I’ll be flying by that time.”

Despite a disappointing couple of months in India, Robinson’s Test record through his 20 England caps is otherwise exemplary, taking 76 wickets at an average of 22.92 apiece.

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England bowler Stuart Broad turned in a hero’s performance in his last match for England, taking two wickets to level the Ashes series with Australia

That is over 600 wickets shy of James Anderson’s record 700, which he reached in India, and Stuart Broad’s 604 but, with the latter retiring at the end of last summer, Robinson is eyeing a more permanent place in England’s Test attack.

“Obviously Broady can’t be replaced,” he said. “He is one of England’s great greatest ever bowlers but, for me, it’s about putting my name forward to take over and take the reins with Jimmy [Anderson].”

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