Perfect Partners

Although Tim Robinson and Chris Broad were denied the chance to join forces in Australia, they’re aiming to spend a lot of time together in the months ahead. 

And if the Notts openers continue to score runs at the rate they will claim a place in the record books. 

Even though the partnership has been divided at various times because of England calls, they have still managed to share 15 century stands in first-class matches. 

And another seven years at that rate would see them overtake the county record of 45 century stands, which is held by Walter Keeton and Charlie Harris. 

Said Robinson: ‘That’s still a very long way off but it gives us a target to aim for and it would be nice to think we could reach it.’

There’s surely been no more successful opening partnership in county cricket in recent years than Robinson and Broad and many people expected them to be given the chance to work together in Australia during the winter. 

It wasn’t to be but as Robinson said: ‘It really would be ultimate if we could walk out together to open the batting for England – and I live in hope.

‘When Chris first moved to Trent Bridge, right from the outset we hit it off and inevitably, the understanding has developed between us over the years.

‘To be honest, we don’t talk about it too much. Most of our planning is done as we walk out to the wicket but we are both experienced enough to know what has to be done. 

‘There’s no doubt that it helps to have a left-hander and right-hander together because that interrupts the flow of things for the opposition bowlers and fielders and the fact that Chris is so tall is also an advantage. 

‘It’s always important for the openers to have a good understanding because everything is against you with the new ball and fresh bowlers and I think its true to say that over the years, we have fed off each other. 

‘Chris has always been a good player on the big occasions so I expected him to do well in Australia. 

‘He is a very conscious of his own ability. He certainly doesn’t lack confidence although it was amazing to see the transformation to him in the middle of last season. 

‘On his own admission, he had a bad time during the first few month and I remember him saying after he had got a ‘pair’ against Leicestershire that things could only get better. 
‘They certainly did and after that, he had a purple patch which continued right through the winter. 

‘We have spent so much time together at the crease I’m sure I know Chris’s strengths and weaknesses better than he does himself – and the same must be true in reverse.' 

‘I enjoy batting with him and watching him fulfil his potential has been fascinating. I think the most significant improvement in his play is that he hits the ball a lot better these days and through that, has become more prepared to dominate the bowing.’

It’s only two years, of course, since Robinson was England’s hero in an Ashes success against Australia and his experience since then serves as a warning for Broad. 

He added: ‘The life of a professional cricketer is full of ups and downs. Chris is clearly on a high at the moment and will we well aware that he has set himself standards which won't be easy to live with.’