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With fine prowess of adhesion, Sam Robson notched up his first Test hundred against Sri Lanka at Headingley. Bharath Ramaraj looks back at the arduous journey, Robson had to go through, before tasting success.
Sam Robson, the centurion in the ongoing second Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley seems like an adventurist, who travelled through seas and oceans to make a fortune for himself. Born to an Australian father and English mother, Robson was forced to leave the shores of a country made up of hypnotic natural treasures. Remember, playing for New South Wales is never easy, especially when you have to compete with names like Usman Khawaja, Phil Hughes, Moises Henriques and company.
Robson, with an English passport migrated to England for greener pastures. It wasn’t like he was welcomed to England like a conquistador after winning numerous battles. Robson wasn’t even known much for his batting prowess then. He could bowl a bit of leg-spin and he did take six-for when he made his grade debut back in Australia.
However, by putting the hard yards, the former Australian Under-19 cricketer started to play for Middlesex seconds by 2008. By the end of that season, he also took part in Pro40 games for the County.
It was only in 2011 though, did Robson strike gold. During that season, he aggregated more than 900 runs at an average of 53.11 in County Championship. By 2013 County season, he was one of the top performers in the domestic circuit. The assuredness with which Robson went onto compile hundreds that year in Division 1 resulted in him being picked for England Lions to play against Sri Lanka ‘A’ in their own den.
With runs flowing from his bat, and England setup in disarray during Ashes 2013-14, there were rumours that he would make his Test debut against Sri Lanka in the English summer. Well, Robson did indeed make his Test debut at Lord’s. But it was the second Test at Headingley when Robson would have felt like being on the seventh haven after a gritty hundred.
It isn’t like Robson has been bestowed with heavy dollops of skill. He looks tentative at the crease and doesn’t exactly time or place the ball with the precision of a Rolex watch-maker. But he can point to the scorecard which at the end of the second day read as 127.
Tougher tests lie ahead for sure. Robson has a tendency to play away from the body and likes to stay back in the crease. He seems to have good hands, but against line-ups that are better than Sri Lanka, they will test him outside his off-stump. Robson has to show measured judgement then. Nevertheless, here is a cricketer who, every-time when he finds at the edge of a steep precipice due to bad form, seems to have that ticker to wade through it and touch greater peaks.
(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)
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