Don't want Ollie Robinson to change: Anderson plays down criticism over England pacer's Usman Khawaja send-off

By India Today Sports Desk: Senior pacer James Anderson said he found nothing wrong with Ollie Robinson's explosive send-off to Usman Khawaja, playing down the criticism that the England fast bowler has faced since England's defeat to Australia in the first Ashes Test in Birmingham. Robinson has been facing flak for his expletive-laden send-off to Khawaja, who went on to hit a match-winning 141 in the first innings at Edgbaston.

Ollie Robinson picked up 5 wickets in the first Test but his good work with the ball has been overshadowed by his send-off to Usman Khawaja. Robinson was fired up after he dismissed Khawaja on 141 as England managed to take a first-innings lead of 7 runs. England declared as early as Day 1 after scoring 393 for 8 at a run rate of over 5 runs pe over.

Despite being dominant for most part of the Test, which went down the wire, England were not able to secure the win as Australia held their nerves on a thrilling final day and successfully chased down 281. England had Australia reeling at 227 for 8 in the final innings but a 56-run partnership between Pat Cummins and lower-order batter Nathan Lyon snatched the victory away from the hosts.

Robinson was severely criticized with former Australia captain Ricky Ponting slamming the pacer for dragging his name into the issue. Notably, Robinson had referred to Ponting's sledging battles in the past while defending his act during the Edgbaston Test.

"Ollie did nothing wrong when he had his moment with Khawaja. In fact, I stood at mid-off for most of the game and didn't hear anything said by either team that was unacceptable," Anderson wrote in his column for The Telegraph.

"It has revved up a few former Australia cricketers who have had a bit to say in the media. That's OK. I'm sure I will be doing that as an ex-player. You have to keep your name in the papers and keep getting a job. It is to be expected. More and more people will come out of the woodwork with that kind of stuff as the series goes on."


Former opener Matthew Hayden went a step further and said Robinson is a 'forgettable crickter' and took a swipe at the medium pacer's dip in pace in the first Ashes Test.

Anderson said it's quite natural that fast bowlers tend to give that much more when they get fired up and that he doesn't want the medium pacer to do anything different when the two teams meet in the second Test at Lord's.

"I don't want Ollie to change. I like him getting fired up. He bowls better when he is in that mood. From personal experience, I know I bowl better when I am a bit more aggressive and intense.

"I stepped in to chat to Ollie when he and Usman were having an exchange of views in the second innings. It was gentle stuff, they were just talking cricket.

"Whenever I watched cricket as a kid I wanted to see bowlers fired up. It makes for better theatre and is a lot more enjoyable to watch. Everyone is just encouraged to be themselves in our team. Some people don't like getting into a verbal battle. Some do. Robbo thrives on it.

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