Cricket: More Than The Pitch: Chris Rogers

Chris Rogers (sourced from ESPN cricinfo)
Chris Rogers (sourced from ESPN cricinfo)

Hard worker?  Check.  Accumulator of runs?  Check.  Australian?  Check.

Chris Rogers has toiled hard for his scores on both Australian and English surfaces.  He has peeled off more than 20,000 runs at First Class level, and has an impressive 60 centuries to his name.

Known as “Buck” to his teammates, the left-hand opening batsman has an extensive list of teams he’s played for, not least Western Australia, Derbyshire and Victoria.  Rogers is the rock at the top of the order, building a platform and then turning it into a big score.  A double century and 184 for Middlesex in the English County Championship saw him earn a call up for the Ashes series in progress.

It has not all been easy for the opener though.  Despite the plethora of runs and accolades, it was not until 2008 that Rogers broke into the Australian test team, touted as the replacement for Justin Langer.  Scores of four and 15 saw him out of the side again, and back in the state and county arena.

Rogers has kept his average incredibly consistent during his first class career, and has plundered attacks across the globe.  The County Championship has been a second home, with only the 2007 and 2012 seasons seeing an average of under 50.

Perhaps it seems that Rogers has been hard done by; the third Ashes test in Manchester is just his fourth at the age of 35 (he will be 36 at the end of August).  What Australia hasn’t received, everyone else he has played for has taken full advantage.  Rogers is not a flamboyant left hander, trying to brutalise every bad ball.  A key asset to his game is timing.  Fans in the stands gasp in sheer awe at the glorious yet textbook cover drives.

At the top of the order for the Bushrangers in domestic one-day and four day cricket, a whole new legion of supporters were hooked by the dogged determination of the left-hander.  What Rogers has lacked in opportunities he has ably made up for in working to sneak his way back into the Australian side.  Brought in for the current Ashes series to add experience to the line up, and for his knowledge of the English pitches, the Aussie diehards are finally seeing him at full flight against the Englishmen.

Perhaps not a long term prospect, only time will tell if the selectors stick with Rogers until the next openers are ready to step up.  For now, the Australians can continue to enjoy the veteran frustrating the England attack.


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