Bushranger Rogers shines in Ashes as Aussies dominate

Chris Rogers admitted that he was playing for his Test career yesterday after scoring a polished 84 during the first day of the third Ashes Test at Emirates Old Trafford as the Aussies hit back with venom as they look to overturn a 2-0 deficit.

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Chris Rogers

The left-handed Victoria opener is only playing his fourth Test for Australia despite being 35-years-old.

This proved to be a best score for a player who also topped 20,000 first-class career runs, the majority of which have come in a stellar first-class career at domestic level.

As the old joke goes, Rogers has had more clubs than Tiger Woods! The Sydney-born player has played for Western Australia and now Victoria Down Under as well as Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Middlesex in England.

Nicknamed Bucky, Rogers spent the first part of the season captaining Middlesex in county cricket.

He only scored 89 runs in the first two fixtures at Trent Bridge and Lord’s, and did not shy away from the fact that he would have been under pressure for his place had he not played the ball late and driven well in Manchester as the visitors closed day one on 303-3.

Captain Michael Clarke also scored a brilliant unbeaten century (125) in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 174 with Steve Smith (70).

“I think my performances have not been anything to write home about, and I knew if I had a bad Test I would be under a lot of pressure,” he said. “I am not naive enough to think if I don’t score runs I will still be in the side.

“It does hurt [criticism]. I needed a couple of days after the last Test to deal with that criticism. Playing domestically you are shielded away from that side of things. I guess to have guys you respect criticise you, and justifiably so, it hurts. It strengthens your resolve.”

Unfortunately for Rogers, however, he was out lbw to Graeme Swann the ball after being distracted by movement behind the bowler’s arm at the Pavilion End of the ground during the afternoon session.

Attachment-1Even more unfortunate for him was that it was one of his team-mates involved. Dan Salpietro is playing club cricket in the Lancashire League at Rishton, and he plays his grade cricket at the same Melbourne club, Prahran, as Rogers.

“What actually happened was really down to the steward in the pavilion,” explained Salpietro, who has also played state cricket for Victoria.

“The players wanted the door near me closing, but he didn’t seem to grasp what was going on. It had happened a few times over the previous overs, and the steward was still not doing anything about it despite me and Jon Wells (Tasmania batsman) telling him that the door needed closing and people had to be stopped from walking through.

“So I decided to take it into my own hands to stand up and close the door, and that’s when the camera caught me.

“I guess it makes it worse because it was Chris who was distracted and then got out. We are team-mates in club cricket back home, and I will have to phone Chris. I play club cricket with him back home, and we are quite good mates.

“I’m sure he will see the funny side of the situation eventually. I’ve been copping a bundle of stick on Twitter with the lads at Rishton telling me I got Rogers out. But honestly, it wasn’t my fault.”

James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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