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New Zealand v England: Robinson will be ‘ready’ to lead attack after Broad & Anderson

England bowler Ollie Robinson (left) celebrates dismissing New Zealand batter Daryl Mitchell (right)
Ollie Robinson has taken 64 wickets in 15 Tests

Pace bowler Ollie Robinson says he will be “ready” if he is asked to lead England’s attack when James Anderson and Stuart Broad retire.

Anderson and Broad joined Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne on 1,001 wickets in Tests played together on day two of the first Test against New Zealand.

Robinson picked up 4-54 as New Zealand were bowled out for 306 before England moved to 79-2, a lead of 98.

“Hopefully I can be a worthy bearer of the baton,” said Robinson.

Sussex’s Robinson was the pick of the bowlers in good batting conditions on a hot afternoon in Mount Maunganui.

In his 15th Test, he took his career tally to 64 wickets at an average of 19.60.

Anderson, 40, and 36-year-old Broad are first and second on England’s list of all-time leading wicket-takers with 678 and 567 respectively.

On Friday, they took one wicket apiece to go to 1,001 between them in the 133 Tests they have played together and draw level with Australia greats McGrath and Warne. No other duo has more.

“There aren’t many words to express how good they have been and still are,” Robinson told BBC Sport. “I can’t say enough good words about them.”

England have a number of fast bowlers waiting in the wings – Mark Wood, Olly Stone, Matthew Potts, Jofra Archer, Saqib Mahmood and Chris Woakes, to name some.

However, Robinson is part of England’s first-choice XI and most likely to lead the attack when Anderson and Broad call time on their careers.

“If that day comes, I’ll be ready to take it on,” he said. “I don’t want those two to finish because I really enjoy bowling and playing with them.”

Responding to England’s 325-9 declared, New Zealand slipped to 83-5 and 182-7 at the Bay Oval.

However, wicketkeeper Tom Blundell’s superb 138 got the Black Caps to 306 all out, a deficit of 19, before England extended their lead under floodlights in the final session of the day-nighter.

“We’re ahead of the game,” said Robinson. “If we can get a lead of 300 and bowl in the twilight tomorrow, we have a great chance.”

The day ended with Broad coming out to bat at the fall of the second wicket as England’s ‘nighthawk’.

Whereas a traditional nightwatchman would look to bat defensively late in the day, Broad’s job is to do the opposite by attacking in the pursuit of swift runs.

Broad has been padded up a number of times in the reign of captain Ben Stokes, but this was his first appearance as the nighthawk.

What followed was comical. He skied a chance from his second ball, only for bowler Scott Kuggeleijn and Blundell to watch the ball drop between them. In the next over, Broad was hit on the head by New Zealand captain Tim Southee’s bouncer before smearing a boundary.

He ended the day six not out, with Ollie Pope unbeaten on 14.

“I was watching for a bit, walked back and saw Broady getting his whites on and thought ‘this is great to see’,” said Robinson.

“They got a couple of wickets, but Broady came in to play some shots and try to put the pressure back on them.

“It’s about getting the momentum back in our favour and putting on a show for the crowd.”

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