Ollie Robinson ‘really disappointing’ in England loss to India, says Michael Atherton

England seamer Ollie Robinson badly struggled with the ball in Ranchi (Picture: Getty)

Michael Atherton says he was ‘really disappointed’ with Ollie Robinson’s display after India secured a five-wicket win in Ranchi to consign England to their first series defeat of the Bazball era.

Trailing 2-1 heading into the fourth Test, England threatened to level the series after Shoaib Bashir took two wickets in as many balls to leave the hosts 120-5 in their second innings, 72 runs short of the target after lunch on day four.

But Shubman Gill took the match by the scruff of the neck with an unbeaten knock of 52 runs from 124 balls to steer India over the line, with Dhruv Jurel finishing not out on 39.

The tourists will look to end the series on a high in Dharamshala and Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have some tough selection calls to make before the final Test begins on March 7.

Robinson was largely ineffective with the ball after returning to the XI at the JSCA International Stadium, failing to take any wickets, showing a distinct lack of pace and dropping Jurel as India chipped away at England’s lead on day three.

A first innings score of 58 was, though, Robinson’s best effort with the bat in 20 matches as a Test cricketer.

The Sussex seamer’s previous appearance for England came in last year’s third Ashes Test at Headingley and Atherton believes the 30-year-old may need some time away to work on his game.

‘Ollie Robinson, I was really disappointed with in this game. His pace was pedestrian, he was down on pace,’ ex-England captain Atherton told Sky Sports.

Jurel and Gill got India over the line on the fourth day (Picture: Getty)

‘Obviously he got that half century but dropped a catch, he wasn’t called upon on the fifth day by Stokes.

‘He looked like a player that had been out of cricket for seven months.

‘And for all the training you do and all the practice sessions you have in Abu Dhabi or whatever, I think he looks like a bowler who needs a good run of game-time now and not necessarily with England either.’

Hussain and Atherton were critical of Robinson’s rusty performance (Picture: Getty)

Nasser Hussain compared Robinson to his former team-mate Andrew Caddick, who he felt needed ‘time to get into the rhythm of bowling’ before being able to make a difference with the ball.

‘I completely agree with that,’ former England skipper Hussain said in response to Atherton’s comments.

‘We had two opening bowlers in [Darren] Gough and Caddick. Gough could just run up and if there was a camera anywhere in the vicinity, he would just run in and bowl as quickly as he could.

‘But someone like Caddick needed to be playing for Somerset time after time to get into the rhythm of the game and the rhythm of bowling and I see that in Ollie Robinson.

‘Ollie Robinson as we saw in Pakistan is a very highly skilful bowler, even if there’s not a lot in the pitch. He has those skills but he needs to be playing to show those stills.

‘He needs to be of a certain pace, he needs to be in the 80s [mph], mid 80s, not high 70s, and he did look a yard short of a gallop at least.

‘He just looked like he hasn’t played for a year and he hadn’t. He hadn’t played since Headingley so it was a long time.’

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