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England worried about the fitness of Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood as Cricket West Indies chairman’s XI played for 264 | Cricket News

England worried about the fitness of Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood as Cricket West Indies chairman's XI played for 264 |  Cricket News

England beat the CWI Chairman’s XI for 264 on day three of the warm-up in Antigua on slow surface, but by then concerns were elsewhere; Robinson took the first wicket of the day but stopped midway through his fourth with back pain; Wood has yet to play due to illness

Last update: 03/03/22 22:12

Ollie Robinson suffered a back injury on day three against the Cricket West Indies chairman’s XI

Fitness fears over Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood have left England with an unwanted headache ahead of next week’s first Test against the West Indies, with the shadows of James Anderson and Stuart Broad looming.

In terms of the scorecard, things went relatively smoothly on day three of their warm-up outing in Antigua, with the CWI President’s XI beaten for 264 on slow surface, but by then, the concerns were already elsewhere.

With their two main wicket takers controversial for this trip and a seething reaction among their supporters, seeing two more of their first-choice bowlers unable to take to the pitch was the last thing tourists needed.

Robinson took the first wicket of the day but stopped midway through his fourth with back pain and was not seen again. For a player who repeatedly left the pitch for treatment in the Ashes and had his conditioning publicly questioned by the team’s management, the turn of events was particularly embarrassing.

Wood excelled in a losing cause underneath but has yet to play a part in this game after feeling unwell for the past 48 hours. He made a late and brief visit to the Coolidge cricket ground before returning to the team hotel for a rest.
at the top. It is understood England are unsuspecting of Covid-19 and, while they hope he will rally soon, his preparations for the series opener have already been damaged.

In their absence, the uncapped couple of Saqib Mahmood and Matt Fisher were drafted into the game, but while the two acquitted themselves easily, neither made a strong case for inclusion.

Indeed, on slow ground that offered minimal encouragement, none of the remaining England tailors could break through in 44.4 overs between them. Instead, it was a more profitable outing for the spin contingent.

Jack Leach led the way with four for 62, Dan Lawrence picked up a few unexpected wickets with his part-timers and captain Joe Root also picked up one. As a guide to the Test series, it all fell rather flat, with the focus on those injured, ill or simmering at home in England rather than those who were busy establishing a 202 innings lead. in the first run.

Leach’s efforts were probably enough to dispel any thoughts of leaving him at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in favor of a seam attack, but the ankle-high shooter who snared centurion Raymon Reifer lbw was a reminder that the pitch was not exactly Test the norm.

Reifer’s 106 and the failure of Chris Woakes, Craig Overton or the new duo of Mahmood and Fisher to reward him will be a minor blemish for England.

When England’s second set began, newcomer Alex Lees was unable to repeat his strong first impression, after his first day of 65 cutting Preston McSween to slip for 10.

Ben Stokes replaced him, increased the order after running out of time in the crease in his previous innings, but was defeated by a questionable lbw verdict which meant he was gone for 19.

That left him as the only top-six member not at least half a century ahead of the series, but England won’t be too concerned about their vice-captain.

The final act of the day saw Zak Crawley lbw for 35 to a low rebound, with England 279 ahead on 77-3.