Nottinghamshire v Middlesex, Trent Bridge, 4th day April 13, 2013

Rogers praise for 'England's' Robson


Chris Rogers, the Middlesex captain, welcomed his team's ten-wicket win over Nottinghamshire as the "perfect start" to their Championship campaign and gave particular credit to his opening partner, Sam Robson, who scored 131 runs in the match.

While Robson, a player of considerable potential, has given equivocal answers to questions on his commitment to England or Australia, Rogers seemed more certain. There may be a few ahead of Robson in the queue for an England place at present but, when he becomes eligible on the grounds of residency in a year's time, it could become relevant very quickly.

"Australia are particularly unlucky to have lost Sam," Rogers said. "I think he's made up his mind. He did consider going back, but he is enjoying everything about being at Middlesex and he is being very well looked after. I think his future is in England.

"That season he first game into the side, a couple of years ago, he batted through an entire day about five times. I've done that about five times in my career. I saw he was compared to Mike Atherton the other day and that makes a lot of sense to me. I rate him very highly."

Nottinghamshire were deeply unimpressive in the match. They batted with carelessness and bowled with a lack of discipline and control, not so much defeated as self-defeating. It was an oddly shoddy display and one that left Mick Newell, their director of cricket, underwhelmed.

"I'm disappointed and surprised with the way we've played," Newell, who held one-to-one chats with each of his players after the game, told ESPNcricinfo. "We were sloppy with the bat and our bowling was not up to any sort of standard. The players know that. They feel the same way.

"Middlesex were the better team. But the thing that disappoints me is they beat us playing the sort of cricket we usually play. They did the basics well.

"Our bowling on the second day, in particular, was not good enough. We bowled one good ball an over, but you can't build any pressure if you do that. The bowlers have thrown selection open a bit. And with the bat… maybe we relaxed against Dexter. You wouldn't expect him to take five wickets. There weren't too many jaffas or great deliveries in there. The fact that none of our batsmen scored more than 61 tells its own story."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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  • Mark on April 14, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    @SamuelH Apparently Sam Robson's problem is that it is almost impossible for hm to get State cricket, so he dees no realistic way of playing anything more than club cricket there. English cricket has paid his way and, if he wants to be a professional cricketer, it is his only realistic option.

    I suppose one would say that if Australia doesn't want him, they can't complain if someone else picks him. Mind you, they will complain.

  • Samuel on April 14, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    Didn't realise Robson had already played for the Aussie u19s, I knew he was born over there but didn't realise he had to qualify. Even if he qualified tomorrow he'd be a fair way off the Test side you'd think - Chopra & Root would definitely be ahead of him, Hales potentially too, although I don't think it'd be too long before he was in the mix certainly. Maybe this is Rogers trying to get the Aussie selectors' attention regarding the young man, but he'd surely be better off trying to get their attention in regards to him! Crazy he's only played 1 Test.

  • Mark on April 14, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    @EdgyDave He isn't qualified until next Spring, so the first opportunity would be a potential early season Lions call-up against the 2014 tourists. A call-up for the MCC v Champion county match would be a hint that the selectors are going down that route. He can't force his way into contention before then.

    He averaged 59 in Division 2 in 2011 (promotion season), after averaging 22 in 2010 and around 35 in Division 1 last year. Let's see how he does this year first. We need a lot more evidence against the higher standard of bowling in Division 1 before thinking seriously of promoting him although I know how highly the people rate him. Saw him in that weird game v Kent at Lords in 2011 where Middlesex made light of a difficult chase when, at one point, a finish on the first day looked possible. Batted very well.

    Incidentally, in British nationality law, nationality passes automatically only through the mother. I don't know what the Australian law is in this respect.

  • David on April 14, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    If Robson has a good summer he may well force his way into contention. All followers of the county cricket know that Chris Rogers should be in line for a call up to the Ashes squad. He's a heavy scorer of runs in the county game, a good tactican, an experienced cricketer. However the Australian selectors probably won't consider him as it would be deemed a retrograde step of going back to an old player. There seems to be an obsession with youth but Austrailia lack seasoned players like Rogers.

  • Mark on April 14, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    @Mitty Which was roughly what I was saying. He isn't in the frame. However, with international mobility you will have more and more cases like this: English mother, Australian father, born in Australia but moved to the UK to have a career in cricket - is he British, or Australian? Same case as KP (substituting South Africa for Australia). My father had dual nationality and my daughter has it too (although different pairings in the two cases).

    Even more extreme cases are appearing. Geraint Jones was qualified for England and Australia and now plays for Papua New Guinea. Gareth Berg is a South African who plays for Italy, but is qualified for Norway!!

  • Hamish on April 14, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    @cricketstargazer, the reaction would be pretty funny to be honest, but I'm fine with england having him... Compton's FC average is 44 and robson's is 38; not good enough to open for either teams. We have rogers, Watson, Hughes, Cowan and Warner as openers and all have higher averages, and I'd prefer if he opened for you than Compton!

  • Mark on April 13, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    With the constant complaints that England poach players, I can just imagine the fuss if Sam Robson decides to throw in his lot with England and actually gets picked. Right now I dón't think that it is terribly likely that he'll get the chance: Sam Robson is well down the list of potential openers right now. A more likely scenario is that, like Andrew Symonds before him, he gets a Lions invite and has to choose finally, but I am not sure how close he is even to being picked for the Lions.

    People have been talking about Sam Robson's chances of playing for England for at least a couple of years now but, last season he averaged under 35. Despite a couple of fifties in this match it would be nice to see him score a few more runs, and do so more consistently before deciding that he should play for England.

  • George on April 13, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    Big_Maxy_Walker: If you look through reports from earlier in the match, you'll see that issue has already been covered. But these aren't Ashes preparation games; they're county championship games. As to most people in Australia not caring who Robson plays for I suspect, if you knew how good he was, you would care plenty.

  • Alex on April 13, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    Rogers should be in the Australia side. With Ponting and Hussey retired Rogers is clearly in the top 6 batsmen in the country. As hard as Cowan tries he is not at the level Rogers is, whilst Smith, Khawaja, Quiney, Marsh, Hughes and North have all been in and out of the side Rogers should have 60 tests to his name, it seems the selectors don't want to select an old school player, who is not flashy, not good at T20, but is a solid batsmen to just racks up the runs in England and Australia.

  • Keith on April 13, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    Over a hundred runs, only dismissed once, astute captaincy and further local knowledge acumen for Rogers. If he is not selected for the Ashes series there can be no confidence in the selection panel. He can bat anywhere and would be the perfect replacement captain if Clarke falls over.

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