In a bizarre turn of events, England seamer Ollie Robinson bowled a three-over spell of off-spin on day four of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
— Ryan (@ryandesa_07) December 19, 2021
The move showed the desperation of the England cricket team, who fielded a playing eleven without a frontline England spinner. Jack Leach and Dom Bess were left out of the side — while captain Joe Root started the day’s play off the field due to injury.
( (> BOWLING
<) )> SPIN
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 19, 2021
In a statement, the ECB said: “England captain Joe Root will not be on the field at the start of play today after being hit in the abdomen during throw downs in the warm-up before play”
As a result, Robinson bowled a three-over spell of off-spin and managed to find some turn with the pink ball.
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) December 19, 2021
However, it is not the first time, the lanky pacer has bowled spin in his career. Robinson, who has bowled a total of 26 overs of off-spin for Sussex before.
— Stuart Meaker (@SMeaker18) December 19, 2021
Robinson’s Sussex teammate Stuart Meaker called his off-spin as ‘lethal.’
“I can confirm these off-spinners from Ollie Robinson are lethal…Turn and Bounce….lots of Bounce in fact,” Meaker wrote on Twitter.
Ollie Robinson is bowling off-spin. A few bowlers who bowled pace & spin in international cricket: Sir Garfield Sobers, Karsan Ghavri, Colin Miller, Andrew Symonds, Sachin Tendulkar, Jayasuriya, Mark Waugh, Prabhakar, Sohail Tanvir, Shane Thomson, Kapil Dev
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) December 19, 2021
According to CricViz, Robinson generated 2.4 degrees of drift in his first over — well up on the global finger-spinner average of 1.6.
Average turn this series:
Jack Leach – 2.8 degrees
Ollie Robinson – 3.7 degrees
— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) December 19, 2021
Robinson even got the tick of approval from legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne, who said the Englishman bowled with great shape and seam position while also generating turn and bounce.
“He got some nice loop, didn’t bowl too fast and a little bit of turn,” Warne told Fox Cricket.
“Normally you’ll see a part-timer that’s not used to it try and fire it in. But it’s nice to see Ollie Robinson giving it a little bit of loop.
“It’s nice to have that versatility. We played with Colin Miller … you could give him the new rock with a bit of swing then he’d turn to spin.”
Interestingly, this is not the first time when a pacer has bowled off-spin at the Adelaide Oval. Exactly, 21 years ago, Collin Miller, medium pacer-turned spin bowler bamboozled the West Indies with his 10-wicket-haul at the Adelaide Oval.