By Matthew Luddington
Sam Robson has played some of his best cricket in recent seasons, and wants to lead an upturn in Middlesex’s fortunes.
The 34-year-old opener joined Middlesex in 2008 and has since scored 12,576 first-class runs, he represented England in nine tests, most notably scoring 127 against Sri Lanka in 2014.
Despite Middlesex’s relegation from County Championship Division One last season Robson was pleased with his personal form, as he scored three centuries at the back end of the campaign including a heroic 107* against Warwickshire which he regards as one of his finest innings for the club.
He said: “The first half of the season was difficult and I struggled to get going, but the back half of the season felt really good and I played some of the best innings of my career.
“I rank my innings against Warwickshire as possibly the best I’ve played for Middlesex, but unfortunately we couldn’t hold on for a vital draw. In your thirties you have the experience, so if you can keep training hard, and staying focused, you have all the ingredients for success.
“As an opener, you’ll have tough periods, so you have to try and stay level headed and stay true to your game and trust things will come good which thankfully they did this season.”
In 2021 Robson scored over 1000 County Championship Division One runs, in 2022 he made five centuries across formats and last season he was the highest run scorer amongst openers in Division 1.
As a reward for his consistent performances in recent years Robson signed a contract extension with Middlesex until 2026 and, showing no signs of slowing down, has drawn inspiration to continue to improve from former teammates including late-blooming Australia test players Adam Voges and Chris Rogers.
He said, “I’m trying to keep improving and getting better. I look at guys like Rogers and Voges, I played with them in my 20s when they were mid 30s, and they played as well as they ever did, Rogers got back in Australia’s test team and Voges made his test debut at 35.
“Seeing them play as well as they did at the latter stage of their career gives me confidence that despite not being 20 anymore you can play as well as you ever have done.
“You need to have different goals, it’s unlikely I’ll get back into the test side, but one of the big aims for me is to make centuries, because it puts the team in a great position and helps to win games.”
Robson is embracing his role as a senior member of Middlesex’s squad, and is enjoying the task of mentoring some of their young batting talent for whom he has high hopes in the future.
He said, “I enjoy trying to help the younger guys at Middlesex, particularly the batsmen.
“Max Holden, Jack Davies and Josh De Caires are three young players I rate highly so it would be great to see them keep improving and kick on in the years to come.”
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