Australia news July 6, 2012

Victoria keep faith with veteran Rogers


The veteran opener Chris Rogers has been offered a new contract with Victoria, a month after he spoke of his concerns at potentially being delisted by the state. Victoria's coach Greg Shipperd said that Rogers' position on the contract list had been carefully considered, but it was decided that he still had plenty to offer the Bushrangers this summer.

Rogers, who turns 35 next month, remains a prolific scorer for Middlesex in county cricket and is fourth on the division one run tally this year, and last season he was sixth on the Sheffield Shield run list with 781 at 41.10. However, the Bushrangers are also keen to give greater opportunities to a younger batch of batsmen, including Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Ryan Carters, Michael Hill and Alex Keath, and Shipperd said selections this season would not necessarily be straightforward.

"It is about finding that delicate balance between experience and youth, and opportunities for the younger players coming through," Shipperd said. "We thought long and hard about that and ultimately Chris has been offered a contract and our understanding is he will take that. He has been a wonderful player for four years for us and put the icing on the cake of a group that was really going places some four seasons ago.

"In his first two seasons with us [we had] Shield final wins, and he's been a great contributor, he's been a great mentor and coach around the group with his cricket knowledge. He's one that opposition bowlers don't like to bowl to and we're happy to have him in our squad.

"It is from our point of view about finding that balance of opportunity and Chris is aware of those challenges in our group. He's got his sights on perhaps being an Australian player still and probably also transitioning in the last couple of years of his cricket career into a coaching role. He's got an interest in that area and we have access all areas for him in terms of developing those skills."

The Bushrangers have named their squad for next summer and unlike most other states this year it is a group with few changes from last season, with no imports and no major defections. The only additions to the full contract list were Handscomb and the fast bowler Scott Boland, both of whom held rookie deals last season.

The allrounder Meyrick Buchanan, who is in Australia's squad for the Under-19 World Cup this year, has been handed a rookie contract, as has the legspinner James Muirhead, who played for the Adelaide Strikers last season. The squad will also feature Ian Holland, who earned a special rookie deal as the winner of the reality TV show Cricket Superstar.

Brad Hodge and Mark Cleary are both gone from last year's list, having retired, while the fast bowler Steven Gilmour and the rookie batsman Brett Forsyth were not offered new contracts. Victoria were able to maintain a consistent list as they were not hit as hard as some states by the reduction in Cricket Australia contracts, with four men on national deals, only one fewer than last year.

Victoria squad Scott Boland, Ryan Carters, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, John Hastings, Jayde Herrick, Michael Hill, Jon Holland, David Hussey (Cricket Australia contract), Alex Keath, Glenn Maxwell, Andrew McDonald, Clint McKay, Darren Pattinson, James Pattinson (CA), Rob Quiney, Chris Rogers, Will Sheridan, Peter Siddle (CA), Matthew Wade (CA), Cameron White Rookies Meyrick Buchanan, James Muirhead, Steven Reid Cricket Australia rookie Ian Holland.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • Roo on July 9, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    Much as I have supported Rogers & think he should have played in more Tests, I believe the selectors would be very wary of adding another player who may only have 1 or 2 years left in them... With Ponting, M Hussey already looking at probably no more than 2 years before retiring from Tests, this would leave Oz with more holes than they already have in the batting dept... Rogers is not a better FC batter than D Hussey & doesn't have the ODI or T20 skills, nor can he bowl like David can... Considering they are the same age, I expect the NSP are looking at Huss as a possible replacement with Voges & Klinger as senior backups - aka their call up for Aust A...

  • Roo on July 9, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    @Ken McCarron... Agree, Ponting's plans didn't work out very well, did they?... Pontings giving his mates a go before better players shortened many int. careers - Stuart Clark is a prime example among many others... "But" Punter wasn't a selector was he?... So the blame falls across a number of names going back to Buchanan's time in Tests...

  • Garry on July 9, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    For sure @Meety, the Futures League is really important. The Under 23's thing was a bad idea, fine they had a go but glad they were quick to relax it a bit. Agree that it could still be beefed up a bit more though, interesting to see if they are even more flexible for this season considering the reduction in State contracts and there could be more over 25yrs players on the fringe. Country cricketers do well cause they generally play against older kids and blokes from an earlier age, the Futures is no different, you need the more experienced cricketers in there as well. Sure you don't want to hold up young talent or extend the pension of an older cricketer for the sake of it but it's got to be hard cricket otherwise it gives the younger players an over inflated self belief against weaker teams and that doesn't do any level of cricket in Australia any good.

  • Andrew on July 9, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    @katandthat3 - I think it is crucial to get the Futures League beefed up. We need a top notch 2nd tier comp now that we have the BBL taking up more & more prime cricket time. It needs to be of a standard where the selectors can pull a player (say Starc) out of the BBL & line him up against quality opposition in the Futures League, so he can get a decent hit out before a test. A player like Rogers (unsigned last yr in the BBL) needs to play in the Futures League.

  • Andrew on July 7, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    @Ken McCarron - heard that too, & that he needed to concentrate on certain fielding positions (like short leg - the same as when Jaques made the side). @Hyclass - know what you mean.

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    What @Meety had to saay was interesting for it is known that Rogers didn't fit in with the guys in the Australian team when he played many years ago and is hardly likely to after the article he wrote. A great player but they say he had a poor attitude and didn't fit in with Ponting's plans.

  • Garry on July 6, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    Looking forward to seeing Handscomb continue to improve, really impressed by his temperament. Agree with the others that Rogers and guys of his ilk are retained in squads as they are still performing at that level but also add much needed experience. Vics have a good blend of youth & experience. That's why it was important to broaden the age restrictions for the Future's League comp as it was just too young and then too big a jump back up to FC cricket as they weren't playing against seasoned cricketers. It's hard enough to keep players in the game from 25+ years with family and the time away from work, so just as important that they have more opportunity in the 2nd XI comp. In grade cricket it's harder still to keep the experienced players in the game to work with the younger players coming through. I'm still not sure if Rogers will get a recall to Tests (why drop Katich then..) and you shouldn't go by one test but he looked lost on one of his former homes grounds at the WACA v India.

  • Christopher on July 6, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    @Meety..I agree entirely.To give Rogers his due,I rebutted his position in three consecutive blogs on that article,'What's happening To Australia's Youngest and Brightest?'and he printed them all.My concern with Rogers as a coach is the same as with Langer-that they are technicians who promote technique as the panacea when the principles of adaptability,initiative & excellent attacking & defensive plans allow disparate techniques to succeed with equal aplomb. I'm glad to see Rogers gaining traction & agree with the positions of @Fabian Francis & @Abhisek Bhardwaj. An Australian top order since 2008 might have easily included Rogers,Hodge & David Hussey. A batting lineup during that period could have been Rogers,Katich,Hodge,D.Hussey,Clarke,M.Hussey with the outsiders being Ponting(based on being out of form for 4 years) & Hughes(based on his game not being changed).While nothing is certain,the high probability is that it would have maintained the precedents set by its predecessors.

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    Rogers still has got another 2 full-year of Test Cricket within was due to the faulty handlings by the CA that players like him, Jacques, Hodge and Katich (to a certain extent ) were lost to intl cricket....ust have a look at their phenomenal FC record accomplished in bowler-friendly conditions to know what the world missed..I think any selection committee in its right sense would be able to pen down his name in the 1st place for the last 2 yrs when the opening slot has been a merry-go-round since the forced retirement of Katich

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    It astonishes me that Rogers, with over 10,000 FC runs and an average TEN runs higher than Cowan has only played one Test. Indefinsible by Hilditch and Inverarity's panels.

    Maybe he should have come to NSW.

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