Pace bowler Ollie Robinson has been recalled to the England squad for the first two
Tests against South Africa.
The 28-year-old has not played a Test since the final match of the Ashes series in
Robinson comes in for fellow seamer Jamie Overton, who has been ruled out with
hand and foot injuries sustained playing for Surrey.
The first Test in the three-match series begins at Lord’s on Wednesday, 17 August.
The only other change from the squad that pulled off a remarkable win against India
at Edgbaston in July is the omission of wicketkeeper Sam Billings, with Ben Foakes fit
to return behind the stumps.
Sussex’s Robinson enjoyed a fine debut year in Test cricket, taking 39 wickets in nine
matches at an average of 21.28.
But, during his last match for England, the fifth Test against Australia in Hobart,
Robinson was told to “improve” his fitness by bowling coach Jon Lewis.
He subsequently missed all three Tests in the 1-0 series defeat by West Indies in
March with a back problem and various fitness issues blighted his start to the home
Robinson had an injection in his back in June and returned to action after more than
two months out last week, taking nine wickets for Sussex in their defeat by
He is set to continue his comeback for England Lions against South Africa in a four-
day match at Canterbury next week, after which his fitness will be assessed ahead of
the first Test.
In Robinson’s absence, Matthew Potts impressed in England’s 3-0 series defeat of
New Zealand and the win against India that followed.
Those four wins have marked a spectacular turnaround in England’s form under new
captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum following an 18-month period
where they won only once in 17 matches.
They are now looking to win five Tests in succession for the first time since 2018.
South Africa arrive as the leaders of the World Test Championship table and have lost
only one of their past six series.
However, they have lost their last three series against England, a run that dates back
Meanwhile, the dates for England’s seven-match T20 series in Pakistan – their first
tour of the country in 17 years – have been confirmed.
The first match, on 20 September in Karachi, is just over a week after the final Test
against South Africa ends.
It is followed by three further matches in Karachi on 22, 23 and 25 September, then
three more games in Lahore on 28 and 30 September, and 2 October.
The dates for a three-Test series at the end of the year are yet to be announced.
England squad for first two Tests v South Africa: Ben Stokes (captain), James
Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack
Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root.