Ollie Robinson’s wicket celebration is becoming very familiar

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Ollie Robinson doesn’t do his pointing upper-cut celebration every time he takes a wicket, but he does it often enough that it certainly feels like he does.

Plenty of bowlers have had signature celebrations over the years – little sequences of actions they reflexively do in response to each dismissal. A lot of the time it feels like the same piece of footage played again and again, but the better ones vary within a recognisable framework. Dale Steyn’s chainsaw-starting/mole-punching move had huge emotional range, for example. One day he’d do it furiously; the next day he’d do it so furiously you’d worry his boiling blood was going to burst through his skin.

Ollie Robinson’s move is sneakily adaptable. You tend to think he always does it the same, but he doesn’t.

The basic shape of it is he jumps side-on and then delivers an upper-cut with index finger extended. When he arrived on the Test scene back when there were no crowds, it was immediately obvious that this swinging point was also punctuated by a loud, percussive “woo!”

It’s honestly not much different to his bowling action, only underarm.

But while those are the nuts and bolts of it, it seems there’s plenty of scope to mix things up a bit.

Sometimes it’s a relaxed point that calmly expresses relief. Sometimes it’s almost apologetic with the upper-cut delivered right near the torso so you’d have to be viewing from the right angle to even know it had happened.

Other times it’s full-blooded.

It can be hard to gauge eyelines on TV coverage, but it often seems to be preceded by a good eyeballing of the dismissed batter.

This week we learned that the eyeballing can sometimes come afterwards too, alongside a facial expression that seems to be equal parts Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, Michael Ironside in Scanners and Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

There aren’t too many areas of life where you’d feel in any way comfortable being on the receiving end of that.

Memorable stuff. However Mohammad Nabi’s celebration v Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup remains our all-time favourite wicket celebration.

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  1. Yer link didn’t work, KC, you meant this I think:


    I must say that I’m with you, KC, with a preference for understated expressions of sheer hot-bloodied delight.

    My least favourite of all time is the Sheldon Cottrell salute, for more reasons than I care to set out in writing.

    Ollie’s scary facial expression has a fair bit in common with one or two of Stuart Broad’s more demonstrative offerings. I’m all for those.

    1. Bugger. This is where the website gains over the email. We can make corrections.

      We like a bit of passion as well – just not as much as we like walking incredibly slowly while smiling.

  2. Some series stats:

    Total use of second new ball – 40 overs
    Sessions played – 24 / 45
    Number of times the paired innings in a match lasted precisely the same number of deliveries – 1
    Number of ticketed days not resulting in a full refund – 8
    Number of monarchs – 2
    Total number of runs scored beyond 200 in all innings – 141
    Number of English quick bowlers who averaged over 17 in the series – 1

    It’s been a bit of an odd series. Maybe this is what happens when you play an entire series starting on 17 August.

  3. Today, as part of my day job, I interviewed David Fursdon, the present Lord Lieutenant of Devon.

    He played first class cricket for Oxford University, scoring an unbeaten 112 against Cambridge University at Lord’s in 1975.

    The Oxford team featured Imran Khan, Vic Marks, Chris Tavare and Andrew Wingfield Digby.

    The match was drawn, Peter Roebuck scoring a ton for Cambridge.

    Scorecard: https://thorvertoncc.co.uk/first-class-cricketers/

    Picture of Oxford team: https://twitter.com/DavidFursdon/status/1022801203703541760/photo/1

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