England: Ollie Robinson edges closer to proving fitness for second Test in Barbados

Ashes Ollie Robinsom

Ollie Robinson moved one step closer to proving his fitness for England’s second Test against the West Indies.

The quick put in a long bowling session at the Kensington Oval.

Robinson was ruled out of the series-opening draw in Antigua after suffering back spasms in the warm-up match but interim head coach Paul Collingwood described his subsequent progress as “really positive” over the weekend.

The 28-year-old effectively underwent an extended fitness test on Monday, bowling two spells and working up towards full pace in an attempt to recreate match conditions.

England will keenly monitor how the Sussex seamer reacts and it is likely he will be asked to back-up his work with another session before any decision is made over his participation on Wednesday.

Robinson would certainly play if considered fully fit but, having pulled up mid-match on a couple of separate occasions this winter, England need to be certain he can get through the game.

Ollie Robinson gives England a boost

With Chris Woakes and Craig Overton sending down 39 and 42 overs respectively at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, some rotation would be preferable in the West Indies.

Mark Wood has no chance of playing due to the elbow injury he sustained in Antigua, and could yet be ruled out of the final Test in Grenada too, so a debut for Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood may also be on the cards.

While unable to touch the express speeds Wood is capable of, Mahmood is the quickest option currently available and has been on the cusp of selection on a handful of occasions.

Pace woes

Woakes, Overton and Jack Leach, who all bowled an extra share following Wood’s injury, were all resting up on Monday.

One welcome addition to practice was Jofra Archer, who is currently living in Barbados at the family home. The World Cup winner has not played for England in almost a year due to his own recurring elbow problems and aborted his first-class comeback for Sussex 10 months ago.

His right arm was heavily strapped but he was able to bowl at encouraging speeds and discuss his efforts with bowling coach Jon Lewis as part of his long-term rehabilitation.

There is no clear cut time-frame around his return to action but a gradual reintegration around the Vitality Blast in May is thought most likely.