today is May 25, 2022

Ollie Robinson Show caption Ollie Robinson will not play a part in any of England’s three Tests in the West Indies. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
England cricket team
  • Ongoing back problem rules seamer out of Grenada Test
  • ‘It’s just as frustrating for him as it is for me,’ says Joe Root

Ollie Robinson will miss the Test series decider against West Indies that begins in St George’s on Thursday – his third successive absence on tour – following the latest setback in the England seamer’s battle against persistent back issues.

The 28-year-old was viewed as central to England’s post-Ashes reboot in the Caribbean, not least after claiming 39 wickets at 21 runs apiece from his first nine caps, and the decision to leave Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad at home while forging a new direction for the team overseas.

However, despite being primed for a return this week after missing the draws in Antigua and Barbados due to back spasms, Robinson reported further problems when bowling in the nets and spent England’s final day of training once again working with the strength and conditioning coach.

“It’s just as frustrating for him as it is for me,” said Joe Root, before a match that is England’s last chance to claim a first Test win ofin this sorry winter and also a first series victory over West Indies in the Caribbean since 2004.

“He’s working very hard but there’s something that’s nagging away at him and he’s just got to keep on doing what he’s doing and trust in time that he’s going to get himself back. We all know how how good he’s been in his short career up to now so the sooner we can get him back the better.”

Robinson’s absence comes off the back of a tour of Australia where he was forced to abandon spells in three separate Test matches, leading Jon Lewis, the bowling coach, to publicly question his professionalism in Hobart.

Root opted not to double-down on this, with the aborted comeback for Robinson meaning Chris Woakes keeps his spot on a pitch promising to offer more encouragement for the seamers and thus one final opportunity for the 33-year-old to address his ailing record overseas.

Craig Overton is the one change to England’s XI after recovering from the illness that afforded Matt Fisher a Test debut in Barbados, the Yorkshireman stepping back on to the reserves bench as a result.

West Indies meanwhile were debating whether to refresh their side through batsman Kyle Mayers and seamer Anderson Phillip, with Shamarh Brooks and Alzarri Joseph looking the most vulnerable here.

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