Rogers recalls 'horrible time' after several head hits
Chris Rogers has spoken of how angry and upset he was after being hit on the helmet while fielding at short leg last summer, and of the psychological effects of a number of blows to the head following the death of Phillip Hughes. While commentating on the Brisbane Test between Australia and New Zealand for ABC Grandstand, Rogers said the mindset of all players around the world had changed as a result of Hughes being struck.
"I just think we thought we were invincible," Rogers said. "Everything had been magnified...it took that incident to really put things in perspective, and you look back now and it was just a horrible time, a horrible time."
At Adelaide Oval against India last season, in Australia's first Test since Hughes' death, Rogers was asked to field at short leg. Michael Clarke was off the field injured and Haddin asked Rogers, who had fielded in close earlier in his Test career, to take up the position again.
"The first thing he said was 'Buck, you need to get your helmet and box'. And I did a double take, I looked behind me, 'who is he talking to?', and I realised I had to go in there. I went in there...Rohit Sharma swept one straight into my hip. Then we came to Brisbane and straight back in there.
"Nathan Lyon [was] bowling around the wicket and Rohit Sharma again has just swept one, and I wasn't the bravest soul in there. You are supposed to just duck and present the top of your helmet, but of course I did a pirouette and jumped and turned my head and hit me right on the back of the helmet.
"I was lucky there was no damage done, it actually hit the helmet and after everything that happened, the doc came running out and said 'are you okay?' and I actually pushed him away. I sent him a message later that night to apologise.
"I was just so angry at having to be in there. I felt I was too old to be in there; probably didn't have the reflexes I used to. But when you get asked to field short leg for Australia you don't say no, you say absolutely I'll do what the team needs. I was pretty upset that night I must admit. Michael Lloyd, the psychologist, came and really spent some time with me. So it can really shake you up."
Rogers has previously said that he considered retirement after that blow at short leg, but he played on and suffered further hits to the helmet before ending his Test career. In the West Indies, Rogers was struck by a net bowler and sat out of the two Tests, but he decided to play on with the lure of one final Ashes series before retiring.
"I thought I was okay initially and it wasn't until the next day I tried to do some exercise and almost fell over," Rogers said. "That was a bit bizarre, actually, because I didn't get hit that hard. It must have got me in line with the temple on the helmet. Even the second Test I was still struggling to really do any exercise without the effects of it. I'd start to feel really sick, my vision was really narrow."
A further hit to the helmet from a James Anderson delivery, first ball of the second day at Lord's during the Ashes, provided one more worrying moment for Rogers.
"When you look back and think about all those incidents happening, it is kind of nice to be up here in the commentary box," he said. "It's a bit of a relief."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale