Western Australia coach says Jaques is no certainty January 2, 2007

'Rogers deserves to replace Langer'

Cricinfo staff



Chris Rogers is the leading run-scorer in the Pura Cup this season © Getty Images

Chris Rogers should be the favourite to take over from Justin Langer at the top of the Australia batting line-up, according to the pair's coach at Western Australia, Wayne Clark. Phil Jaques has been mentioned by most commentators as the leading candidate but he has been significantly outplayed by Rogers in the Pura Cup this season.

Rogers, 29, is by far the leading run-scorer in the competition, with 799 runs at an average of 88.77. His efforts this year included a season-opening 279 against Victoria. Jaques began 2006-07 well, making 163 in his first game but he has passed fifty only twice since then and averages 35.50.

"If you look at Chris' record in the last three years for WA, there is not too many in Australia that can compare to that," Clark told AAP. "Jaques is very good, he has made some big scores and was the flavour of the month there for a while.

"He was going well into the first Test. But since then, he hasn't really performed. I think Chris' consistency, and the form he has shown ... I think he has got to be the frontrunner for that role. And he is ready for the job."

Jaques, who has played two Tests already, said he was disappointed by his recent efforts. "My record in four-day cricket is pretty good, but this season has probably not been as prolific," Jaques said. "There have been some good performances in there ... against England and a good one first up in the Pura Cup, and I feel I am hitting the ball well."

The selectors have time to choose Langer's successor, though, with Australia unlikely to play any Tests until November.