Jack Robertson was a fine, stylish opening batsman who never gained the prominence his talent deserved.
At Middlesex he so often found himself in the shadow of Compton and Edrich; for England he formed an outstanding partnership with Len Hutton on the West Indies tour of 1947-48, only for the selectors to prefer Cyril Washbrook against Australia the following English summer. In 1949 he replaced the injured Washbrook in the Second Test against New Zealand and scored 121, only to be dropped when Washbrook regained fitness in time for the next match. Many, including his Middlesex captain Walter Robins, considered him the best player of the new ball in England.
On a docile pitch in oppressive heat, the batsmen piled on the runs at Lord’s. Following England’s surprise declaration at 313 for 9, a double century from Martin Donnelly helped New Zealand to a total of 484. With only three days scheduled for the match a result looked unlikely, and Robertson’s opening stand of 143 with Len Hutton ensured there would be no late alarms. In all he batted for 228 minutes, striking 11 fours and one six.
John David Benbow Robertson (1917-1996)
11 Tests for England averaging 46.36 with the bat
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1948