Middlesex youngster Sam Robson eager to seize his chance

Middlesex youngster Sam Robson hopes Chris Rogers makes a rapid return from injury – even though that could cost him his place in the team.

Robson was recalled to open the batting in Middlesex’s County Championship victory over Kent this week after the experienced Rogers dislocated his little finger during a recent t20 game.

The injury is expected to keep him out of the coming week’s Uxbridge Festival, but Robson has proved to be an excellent stand-in, following up his century against Essex last month with two crucial knocks in the Kent match.

The 21-year-old was top scorer in both Middlesex innings during a low-scoring contest, hitting 40 and 94 not out to help the Lord’s side to a nine-wicket success.

“Obviously when guys are out you’re going to get more opportunities, but I managed to force my way in for the Essex game without there being any injuries,” Robson pointed out.

“Hopefully it’ll be a speedy recovery for Chris – I’m looking forward to getting more opportunities to play with and around him. He’s a great bloke as well as a great player.

“He’s friendly and there have been so many opportunities to talk to him about cricket, whether it’s having a drink socially or around the dressing-room.

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“Even though I haven’t spent that much time out in the middle with him, he’s been a great influence. Nobody’s ever assured of a spot in the side, though, and certainly not someone like myself at this stage.

“I feel I’ve been playing quite well most of this year, whether it’s been in the first team or the seconds. Hopefully I’ll get more opportunities and I can take them.

“I love playing four-day cricket and especially enjoy the Championship games at Lord’s, so I’d like to play as many as I can and, if I can play for most of the rest of the season, that’d be awesome.”

Robson, who comes from New South Wales but will qualify for England in 2014, has made a clutch of County Championship appearances during his three years at Middlesex.

Unlike most of his batting rivals, though, he has not been involved in the club’s t20 programme, and acknowledges his absence from the shortest form of the game may have assisted his performances against Kent.

A number of Middlesex – and Kent – batsmen succumbed to poor shots during a bizarre first day that saw a total of 23 wickets fall and Robson admitted: “It was pretty tough.

“I think it was one of those wickets where there’s always one with your name on it just around the corner and you’re praying it’s later rather than sooner.

“Without having played any t20 games, it’s hard to make the comparison, but I suppose I was more fresh because I hadn’t had to switch to t20 mode and back again.

“I’ve got no doubt that is hard for the boys, going in and trying to slog them out of the park for four or five overs, then all of a sudden you’ve got another challenge where you’ve got to bat for time.

“But at the end of the day I’d love to be playing all forms of the game and I certainly wouldn’t say no if I was asked.”

The chances are that Robson will miss out again when Middlesex resume their faltering t20 campaign against Surrey Lions at the Kia Oval today (6.30pm).

They then face Kent Spitfires on Friday (5.30pm) and Gloucestershire Gladiators on Sunday (2.30pm), both at Uxbridge, before taking on the West Country side in a four-day match which gets under way on Monday at the same venue.