Sam Robson remains upbeat about his international future in spite of the fact that he wasn’t among the lucky few to be awarded a central contract with the ECB following the culmination of the English cricketing season.
A difficult summer saw the Middlesex opening batsman fail to really establish himself at the top of the England order, despite procuring his maiden Test century against Sri Lanka at Headingley.
The 25-year-old now has the tough task of cementing himself alongside Alastair Cook at the top of the order – a feat that Nick Compton, Joe Root and Michael Carberry have failed
to do since the retirement of Andrew Strauss.
Regardless of how it ends, 2014 has been a great year for Robson that has seen him make his Test debut, before scoring 75 on the final day of the season to help Middlesex avoid relegation at the expense of Lancashire.
The former Australia under-19 star scored 127 on just his second appearance as England slipped to a series defeat against Sri Lanka. He followed that up with 59 in the drawn
opening Test against India.
Since then he has failed to register a score above 40 but he still remained a part of the England side that bounced back to defeat India 3-1.
Robson played in all seven of England’s summer Test matches against Sri Lanka and India, but that wasn’t enough to earn him a 12-month deal with the ECB.
However, a lot of chances were taken on other players, with no less than six English cricketers signing their maiden central contracts.
Moeen Ali, Gary
Ballance, Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes all did enough
to guarantee their presence around the England dressing room over the next
year, whilst Robson’s future is less clear.
The Australian-born batsman has his eye on the upcoming Lions tour in the new year that could guide him back to the Test side.
Robson is quoted by Sky Sports as saying: "It's not a problem or a limit at all: I know what I've got to do.
“There's a Lions tour to South Africa in January, so if I'm selected on that, with no Test cricket for the next six or seven months, hopefully I could score some runs and put in some strong performances.
"Then we can go from there. It's just been a great summer for me to play all seven Tests and to feel comfortable in the environment. And to win against India was massive, and I'm looking forward to kicking on."
Next Test match
As the opener mentions, England aren’t in five-day action again until they visit the West
Indies next April. That time lapse will give Robson plenty of opportunities to remind the selectors of his ability and potential.
The right-hander scored centuries in two of the three unofficial Test matches he played on the Lions’ tour to Sri Lanka last winter, and a repeat of that performance could once again force his way back into the side.
The West Indies Test series is going to come shortly after the World Cup, which could leave players fatigued. A fresh Robson could be just the man that Cook decides he wants to open the batting with next spring.