Middlesex batsman Sam Robson plays down suggestions of England call-up

Middlesex batsman Sam Robson has played down suggestions that he could be in line for an England call-up following their Ashes woe.

The Australian-born opener, who was Middlesex’s leading run-scorer last summer, recently qualified to play for England and is currently part of the ECB’s performance programme squad.

While England’s batsmen have been floundering in Australia, Robson has caught the eye on his return to his native country, hitting centuries against both Queensland and Western Australia’s second XIs.

However, the 24-year-old believes he will need to keep amassing runs for Middlesex before he can think seriously about forcing his way into the senior England side.

“The top level is completely different to anything below, from what I imagine, so we’ll just play it all by ear and see where it takes us,” said Robson.

“We have seen a lot of guys in county cricket in the last few years get their way in just through weight of runs – guys like Nick Compton, who has just scored mountains of runs year in, year out.

“If you have a good season, you’ve got to show that you can do it the next year and if things don’t necessarily go well the next year you’ve just got to keep doing it.

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“That’s the big challenge of batting – sometimes when you’re in form things go your way, but inevitably there are always going to be peaks and troughs.

“You have to try and put it together over a long period of time.”

Robson’s progress at Lord’s has gathered pace over the last three seasons – and he lists two batsmen on opposing sides of the Ashes divide as the key influences on his career so far.

As well as batting alongside Andrew Strauss prior to the former England captain’s retirement in 2012, he has also profited from the example set by Middlesex’s current four-day captain, Australian opener Chris Rogers.

“I have been very lucky at Middlesex,” added Robson. “Opening the batting with Andrew Strauss was really beneficial, just to see how he goes about his business.

“He was quite a relaxed character but very switched on when it was time to get out there in the middle. Probably the biggest thing that stuck out for me was how diligent he was with his preparation.

“He was the first in the nets on the morning of a game and the last to leave – and it was the same at training. He approached games for Middlesex as though they were Test matches for England and that was really impressive.

“Then of course Chris Rogers, who has been really consistent and just churned out runs the last few years for us. Being at the other end as an opener and seeing how he operates has been really helpful.

“There is no doubt about it, I have been very lucky to be around some top players.”

Robson and Middlesex team-mate James Harris have both been named in the England Lions squad to face Sri Lanka A early in the new year.

Follow the England Performance Programme squad and their progress this winter at www.ecb.co.uk/epp