Robson closes on England cap |



Robson closes on England cap

Sydney-born batsman caught in Lord's spell

Quick Single: English-born Whiteman eyes Baggy Green

While Sam Whiteman ponders his journey from Yorkshire to the Australia A squad and a shot at a Baggy Green, Sam Robson is treading a path of polar opposites.

Sydney-born Robson has nailed his colours to England's mast and the opening batsman is tipped to be a key component of the rebuilding process following the team's Ashes whitewash last summer.

Whiteman's journey is not so far advanced yet but is heading in the right direction at age 22. He was this week named in a 21-man squad for the Australia A series against India A and South Africa A to be played in Brisbane, Darwin and Townsville in July and August.

Australia's incumbent wicketkeeper, Brad Haddin, was in the form of his career last summer in the Ashes, a key component of the whitewash. But at 36, the National Selection Panel has an eye to the future.

Robson, meanwhile, opens the batting for Middlesex and even the cajoling of Australian Test opener and county captain Chris Rogers cannot sway the 24-year-old from his chosen path.

"As soon as I left school I came to England," Rosbon told the Guardian. "I've been a professional cricketer with Middlesex for six or seven years, so definitely I feel England is where I learned to play first-class cricket.

"When I came over here I was young. It was a commitment that I came over here and I loved everything about it, loved playing cricket here, loved turning up at Lord's as a professional cricketer and the longer I've stayed here, it's become my home, I suppose.

"That's the be all and end all of it. I've spent so much time here. This is where I live and this is where I'm a professional cricketer."

Robson captained the Australia Under-19 squad, playing alongside Phillip Hughes and James Faulkner.

His father, Jim, played a season with the Worcestershire Seconds in 1979. Robson's mother, a nurse from Nottingham, gave him a British passport and the opportunity to take up a county spot.

His first tour to England was for the New South Wales Under-17s. "I loved it," Robson told the UK's Daily Telegraph. "I think on that trip we played at The Oval – and against the Middlesex Academy, which had Steven Finn.

"I just loved the grounds and the passion, and thought it would be a great place to play.

"I wanted to be a professional cricketer from 15 or 16. When I came over to England, I had a rookie contract with NSW but I wanted to play as much as I could.

"In 2008 I just loved playing all the time: sometimes I was getting three or four hits a week, travelling around with my mates, and I thought it was outstanding.

"To top it all off, to turn up and train at Lord's, the great ground ... I was taken aback. That's what influenced me to sign on full-time with Middlesex."