'England can't afford to take the risk' - Steve Harmison smells Ollie Robinson's end in Ashes 2023

Robinson could only bowl 11.2 overs in the third Test as he walked off the field midway through the first innings due to back spasms.

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Ollie Robinson
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Ollie Robinson. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former England cricketer Steve Harmison feels that Ollie Robinson will not be seen again in Ashes 2023 after getting injured during the third Test of the series at Headingley, Leeds. Robinson could only bowl 11.2 overs in the entire game as he walked off the field midway through the first innings due to back spasms.

In the three games played in the series so far, Robinson is the fourth-highest wicket-taker (England’s second) with 10 scalps to his name at an average of 28.40. However, the 29-year-old is done for the series according to Harmison who feels England can’t afford to take a risk with his body.

"He's done for me; I think he's done in the Ashes. I think history has repeated itself. He came into the last Ashes and wasn't able to bowl the overs he could do because of his body. I'm not going to speculate on where he is from a fitness point of view or whether it's just unfortunate that these injuries have come. But England can't afford to take the risk,” Harmison was quoted as saying by TalkSport.

The 2005 Ashes winner further said that Robinson needs to work on his fitness as his speed has consistently dropped throughout the course of the series.

"With two games left in the series that we have to win, we have to pick the best bowlers. Ollie is one of them but he's got to be fit to be one of them. He started the last couple of Tests at 78mph... and you're starting to drop to 76, 75mph. As great a record as he's got in Test cricket, unfortunately, he needs to get his fitness and his body up before he starts playing Test cricket again,” he added.

Anderson or Tongue to come to fill Robison's place

With Robinson injured, England face a huge dilemma regarding whom to select between James Anderson and Josh Tongue for the fourth Test at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester. Notably, Anderson could only pick up three wickets in the first two Tests while Josh Tongue impressed with his performance at Lord’s. Playing just his second Test, the 25-year-old picked five wickets in the game including the prized scalps of David Warner and Steven Smith twice.

It will be interesting to see who gets the nod to play in the fourth Test beginning on Wednesday, July 19 as England look to level the series.

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