England opening batsman Sam Robson has admitted that he didn't live up to his expectations during the recently concluded five-Test series against India.
Even though England thrashed India 3-1, Robson was one of the major disappointments of the series as he only scored 165 runs, which included one half-century, at a dismal average of 23.57.
This was not what most people were expecting after Robson excelled in his debut series for England, which came against Sri Lanka in June. In the two Test matches both nations played, Robson amassed 171 runs, which included his maiden Test century, at an impressive average of 42.75.
Taking the positives
However, despite an up and down summer, Robson stated that he had thoroughly enjoyed his first taste of Test cricket and will take lots of "special" memories with him into the winter period.
But, he also admitted that he was unsure about whether he had done enough to cement himself a permanent place in England's Test side. From what the former players and pundits have been saying, it seems that Robson is unlikely to be in England's Test squad when they head to the West Indies in April.
Robson also recalled how he "missed opportunities" to make big scores in the third and fifth Test against India, which were held in Southampton and The Oval respectively.
"I got myself in a position where I could have gone on with it - in Southampton and then at The Oval, getting through that first evening - so I suppose there were a few missed opportunities but you look back and a lot went our way so it was a pretty positive feeling," Robson told ESPNcricinfo.
"It was such a special couple months. I didn't play as well I would have liked in my first Test against Sri Lanka but put it right in the next Test with 120-odd and then to back that up at Trent Bridge, I was pretty happy with that.
"I would have liked a big score in there towards the end of the series to back up a decent start, but it wasn't to be. Having said that to walk away from your first Test summer with a hundred and a series win, and a convincing one, was pretty special. The hundred gave me the belief I could perform but you have to score runs week in, week out so that's my next challenge."
Towards the end of the Test series against India, there was a lot of analysis being done about where Robson was going wrong. Some people pointed out that he had a general weakness around the off-stump, while others highlighted that he was constantly stuck in the crease, which led to him being cramped for space and subsequently being dismissed.
However, Robson noted that he played exactly the same way he does for Middlesex, and added that he will continue to play that way. These are some brave words by the 25-year-old since many of the former players and pundits have offered advice on how he can fix his game and take a step in the right direction.
"I don't think I'm the most intense character off the field, but that's the way I play on the field," he said.
"I've got my own idiosyncrasies but it's been the way I've played for Middlesex and has worked for me. At the top level people will have their views, but that's the beauty of it and why we want to play Test cricket in the spotlight. I'll just be sticking with what's worked for me."
Robson will now represent Middlesex for the rest of the County season before enduring a lengthy wait to find out whether he will be playing for England during their tour of the West Indies. However, it is likely that he will play for the England Lions during their tour of South Africa at the beginning of next year.
"It has been a big couple of years for me, a massive summer and there's still an important month left with Middlesex," he said. "The Test matches have been draining so I think this will be a good chance, once the season is done, to take a couple of months away from the game, recharge my batteries and go from there."
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