Middlesex v Surrey, Lord's, 3rd day May 4, 2013

Record-breaking Middlesex move ahead

Vithushan Ehantharajah at Lord's
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Middlesex 166 and 283 for 2 (Rogers 131*, Robson 129) lead Surrey 338 by 111 runs
Scorecard

Chris Rogers and Sam Robson set a new record for the highest ever first-wicket stand for Middlesex against Surrey on a day that saw the home side wrestle back the initiative from their south of the river rivals. It was in the 69th over that the record set by Pelham Warner and James Douglas in 1907 at The Oval was passed, and owed as much to the openers' pro-active start as it did to a pitch that became much easier to bat on.

In an elongated afternoon session, Rogers and Robson compiled 161 runs in 48 overs, in a determined yet comfortable manner. They continued on their merry way in the evening with such nonchalance that the passing of Surrey's total was met with nothing more than a cursory glance at the scorecard from the spectators. While their hundreds were reached at the same pace - both took 185 balls - the nature of their innings bore the imprint of their respective personalities.

Robson displayed his aptitude for driving before bringing out his dabs behind square on both sides of the wicket. If you'll allow the typecasting, he is the evolving opener; growing into his innings through a well-rounded attacking game rather than bitty accumulation. Obviously that comes with its own pitfalls - his conversion rate of fifties to hundreds may never get above the one-third it stands at now - but he is an exciting prospect who should be encouraged to play his game. His decision to try and hook Zander de Bruyn cost him his wicket, but he had played a fine hand.

"Been there - done that - did it again" would be the pithy 1990s subtext to Rogers' first century for Middlesex against Surrey. The majority of his runs against the seamers came through third-man with a deliberateness that Jade Dernbach couldn't quite believe; anything on his legs was greatly received. Even when he was driving crisply yet straight to the fielders at the end of the day, he would wryly walk away from his crease, before returning to push the next ball around the corner for a couple. It was his career in a nutshell; trial and error - hold the error.

The day started with Surrey taking the one remaining wicket before Tim Murtagh and Corey Collymore could add the 28 runs needed to avoid the follow-on. Unsurprisingly, with his bowlers well rested and rain predicted for Sunday, Graeme Smith put Middlesex back in. There was rain in the air; a light drizzle greeted spectators upon their arrival before the start of play and a bigger, longer downpour came with Middlesex 29 without loss.

A 40-minute delay and an early lunch later, in muggier conditions, Dernbach drew the first false shot with Rogers edging a difficult chance to Wilson at second slip, which had the Irishman diving to his right and slightly forward, but failing to hold on.

At the other end, Chris Tremlett looked strong and quick, bringing his length forward and hitting the bat hard. Watching him the previous day from square of the wicket, the 6ft 7 inch bowler had a notable stop after delivery; an unusual hop, seemingly dissipating any kind of forward momentum. Today he bustled through the crease with greater fluency - the hop making way for a couple of ferocious strides. However, Rogers used this extra pace to slap a couple of fours behind point as he and Robson took Middlesex past fifty with minimal fuss.

The springiness of the surface on the opening was a faint memory as the pitch played with more conventional bounce which Robson in particular thrived on. He didn't have to force the issue, instead timing the ball well on the front foot and, as he moved into the 30s, working the ball through cover-point and in front of square leg off Tim Linley and Dernbach.

He moved past fifty for the fourth time this season with his ninth boundary and Rogers soon joined him in the fifties, though not before a little scare when he edged again to second slip, this time well short, off the bowling of Linley. Save that moment, Linley was ineffectual and at times looked like he was returning a favour to Robson.

As both players motored on in the evening session, Smith got creative in the field. When Robson was startled by a short-ball from Dernbach, Smith encouraged his bowler to persist and supported him with five men on the leg-side; a wide mid-on, midwicket, deep square leg and two behind square - one of whom was a leg-slip.

Considering the circumstances and the protagonists - an Australian batsman in the process of qualifying for England and a South African-born English bowler obeying the orders of his pugnacious yet affable skipper - it was very much Bodyline-lite, and when Dernbach was slightly wide with his short-ball, Robson gleefully moved to 96, and past 3,000 first-class runs.

Rogers was not keen to play the short ball, choosing to duck and dive, which only infuriated Dernbach further; he thought he might have had Robson caught off an inside edge but it wasn't given. The 200 partnership came up with both batsmen on 98 and the only question was who would get there first. In the end it was Rogers with a punch through cover, before Robson followed with a scampered single to midwicket.

With an overnight lead of 111, Middlesex's middle order have the chance to make amends for their earlier misdemeanours and give their bowlers enough runs and - importantly - time to push for a win. The corresponding fixture, albeit on a less accommodating pitch, produced a thrilling finish in Middlesex's favour, and history suggests it may not just dribble to a draw.

If the Sunday of a long weekend has you at a loose end, look no further than Lord's - where adult tickets £5 and it's free for over-65s and under-16s - for the finale of what has been a compelling encounter.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on May 7, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (May 7, 2013, 3:05 GMT) - I would say that is how non-England supporters like to cast it. Again (like stargazer) you are using the dictionary interpretation. Clearly there is a cricket version of the word, which applies to players who play for a country other than their birthplace. Those players can have the most noble of reasons & I don't deny any of them that right - so I do not hold that " It would be more appropriate to criticise the players..." for defecting although some people do (Boyd Rankin is often bagged by Irish fans). At the end of the day, the old poaching chestnut is whatever you want to make of it, as an Ozzy without the Ashes it means (IMO), that Pommy fans don't have bragging rights to having the better domestic comp, as a world cricket fan, I hate seeing players like Joyce unable to help Irish cricket because he had a crack at a Test spot with England & am bemused about workplace laws (Kolpak) have created a viable breeding ground at SA's expense!

  • jmcilhinney on May 7, 2013, 3:05 GMT

    @Meety on (May 5, 2013, 23:56 GMT), that's how people like to cast it because it means that they can criticise the opposition but poaching inherently requires taking something that doesn't belong to you. It would be more appropriate to criticise the players for defecting than the opposition for poaching.

  • Chris_P on May 6, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    I guess Rogers showed the value of experience. @Optic . I wouldn't take your points as a means of Copeland failing. He has, of the regular bowlers, the lowest economy rate, meaning he ties up one end making it easier for other bowers up the other. I was also surprised he didn't take wickets as well, but seeing him play often for the Blues, he bowls tirelessly, beats the bat constantly & really bowls for his co-bowlers with his economy. I believe Northants are more than happy with their acquisition, & when on song, as shown in this game, he is quite devastating. The fact he is improving is the biggest plus.

  • Meety on May 5, 2013, 23:56 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (May 5, 2013, 8:04 GMT) - individual players can do whatever they like, & unless Robson plays Shield cricket (I'm sure QLD would take him as their openers are mediocre at best), he is as ineligible as Hodges or Katich. Poaching in cricket terms, is taking on players who have learned tehir cricket trade in another country. So IMO, it would include say KP & Trott, but not Strauss. Given Robson is an Ozzy U19s player, if he were to play for England (IMO) - he would be poached. The same with the other Ozzy batsmen (forgotten his name who was Hong Kong born) who played U19s for Oz & is doing well in County. @Optic on (May 5, 2013, 16:14 GMT) - I think you'll find reports that Copeland was threatening in all those games, & he was building pressure by having arguably the best Economy rate in the County Champ. The fact that most of his wickets have come from one game, is just the law of averages, you bowl well for long enuff, the rewards will come.

  • Batmanian on May 5, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    Ummm... if Rogers gets a berth for the Ashes there is no room for Cowan. Watson should open. Potential partners are Rogers, Warner, Cowan and - don't laugh - Hughes. Probably the most feasible First Test line up would be Watson/Rogers/Hughes/Warner/Clarke/Khawaja/Haddin/Starc/Pattinson/Siddle/Lyon. If Harris is fit, no Starc (the problem here is not that Starc, Pattinson or Siddle are not viable, more suitable variety). Khawaja deserves a shot, but has proved inadequate in past Tests and needs protection down the order. They may opt for Cowan ahead of Rogers, but essentially no-one in Australia knows why. Haddin's a better keeper than Wade (just) and Wade is better bat (just), so it's much of a muchness. This team is flaky, but you never know... England aren't great, either.

  • on May 5, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    Impressive by Middlesex, but let's not forget that Lionel Tennyson's Hampshire were once shot out for 15 with no excuse whatever, made to follow on, and scored 500+ for a comfortable win. :)

  • Optic on May 5, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    @Sunil_Batra Tbh Copeland up to this game has been disappointing with the ball, 5 wickets in his previous 6 inning, for an overseas Aussie international he should have picked up more wickets than he has especially considering he is bowling at second division batsman in May.

  • Sunil_Batra on May 5, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Another guy doing well is copelan, 10 wickets for him this match. Getting runs this season as well. He really has had a great season overall. I would not be referring to him as just a bowler anymore. Bowling all rounder more like it and someone to consider if there are injuries int he bowling department. On the batting front its a good problem to have to see one of our openers get runs, inclusion of both him and Khawaja were great for the ashes. And before folks attack Cowan, I agree that he needs to start converting his 30s and 40s into big scores but at least he is over playing county cricket to get used to the conditions in England so give him a chance, if he fails in the ashes then ok he is out but let him have a go first.

  • Edwards_Anderson on May 5, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    I would be tempted to open with Rogers in the ashes. Another problem is that Watson bats well as opener too so you could open with these 2 but its a good problem to have. I would definitely get Khawaja in the top 6 as he was one of our best shield and Ryobi batsman till Christmas after which he hasn't played a game. Warner will fire for us in the ashes and he is another who can bat anywhere int he top 6, he is overdue.Either way its time for Cowan to convert his starts similar to what this man is doing.. Just my two cents.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on May 5, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    There was an article on Robson on here recently and I think Chris Rogers was quoted as saying he thinks he is aiming to play for England. He is one of those players with a legitimate choice to make as he has connections to both countries so it is up to him. Understandably at the moment he is just trying to make a living in the game via a contract with Middlesex and obviously keeping his England qualification open means he isnt an overseas player and can play with no problem.Until he has an offer from either country he is wise to carry on as he is. If players meet the eligibilty requirements I dont have a problem with any decision that players make in terms of their own personal careers. England get stick but that is often because players like Pietersen & Trott choose them as they can make a county cricket living easier than in other countries as a starting point.

  • Meety on May 7, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (May 7, 2013, 3:05 GMT) - I would say that is how non-England supporters like to cast it. Again (like stargazer) you are using the dictionary interpretation. Clearly there is a cricket version of the word, which applies to players who play for a country other than their birthplace. Those players can have the most noble of reasons & I don't deny any of them that right - so I do not hold that " It would be more appropriate to criticise the players..." for defecting although some people do (Boyd Rankin is often bagged by Irish fans). At the end of the day, the old poaching chestnut is whatever you want to make of it, as an Ozzy without the Ashes it means (IMO), that Pommy fans don't have bragging rights to having the better domestic comp, as a world cricket fan, I hate seeing players like Joyce unable to help Irish cricket because he had a crack at a Test spot with England & am bemused about workplace laws (Kolpak) have created a viable breeding ground at SA's expense!

  • jmcilhinney on May 7, 2013, 3:05 GMT

    @Meety on (May 5, 2013, 23:56 GMT), that's how people like to cast it because it means that they can criticise the opposition but poaching inherently requires taking something that doesn't belong to you. It would be more appropriate to criticise the players for defecting than the opposition for poaching.

  • Chris_P on May 6, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    I guess Rogers showed the value of experience. @Optic . I wouldn't take your points as a means of Copeland failing. He has, of the regular bowlers, the lowest economy rate, meaning he ties up one end making it easier for other bowers up the other. I was also surprised he didn't take wickets as well, but seeing him play often for the Blues, he bowls tirelessly, beats the bat constantly & really bowls for his co-bowlers with his economy. I believe Northants are more than happy with their acquisition, & when on song, as shown in this game, he is quite devastating. The fact he is improving is the biggest plus.

  • Meety on May 5, 2013, 23:56 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (May 5, 2013, 8:04 GMT) - individual players can do whatever they like, & unless Robson plays Shield cricket (I'm sure QLD would take him as their openers are mediocre at best), he is as ineligible as Hodges or Katich. Poaching in cricket terms, is taking on players who have learned tehir cricket trade in another country. So IMO, it would include say KP & Trott, but not Strauss. Given Robson is an Ozzy U19s player, if he were to play for England (IMO) - he would be poached. The same with the other Ozzy batsmen (forgotten his name who was Hong Kong born) who played U19s for Oz & is doing well in County. @Optic on (May 5, 2013, 16:14 GMT) - I think you'll find reports that Copeland was threatening in all those games, & he was building pressure by having arguably the best Economy rate in the County Champ. The fact that most of his wickets have come from one game, is just the law of averages, you bowl well for long enuff, the rewards will come.

  • Batmanian on May 5, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    Ummm... if Rogers gets a berth for the Ashes there is no room for Cowan. Watson should open. Potential partners are Rogers, Warner, Cowan and - don't laugh - Hughes. Probably the most feasible First Test line up would be Watson/Rogers/Hughes/Warner/Clarke/Khawaja/Haddin/Starc/Pattinson/Siddle/Lyon. If Harris is fit, no Starc (the problem here is not that Starc, Pattinson or Siddle are not viable, more suitable variety). Khawaja deserves a shot, but has proved inadequate in past Tests and needs protection down the order. They may opt for Cowan ahead of Rogers, but essentially no-one in Australia knows why. Haddin's a better keeper than Wade (just) and Wade is better bat (just), so it's much of a muchness. This team is flaky, but you never know... England aren't great, either.

  • on May 5, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    Impressive by Middlesex, but let's not forget that Lionel Tennyson's Hampshire were once shot out for 15 with no excuse whatever, made to follow on, and scored 500+ for a comfortable win. :)

  • Optic on May 5, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    @Sunil_Batra Tbh Copeland up to this game has been disappointing with the ball, 5 wickets in his previous 6 inning, for an overseas Aussie international he should have picked up more wickets than he has especially considering he is bowling at second division batsman in May.

  • Sunil_Batra on May 5, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Another guy doing well is copelan, 10 wickets for him this match. Getting runs this season as well. He really has had a great season overall. I would not be referring to him as just a bowler anymore. Bowling all rounder more like it and someone to consider if there are injuries int he bowling department. On the batting front its a good problem to have to see one of our openers get runs, inclusion of both him and Khawaja were great for the ashes. And before folks attack Cowan, I agree that he needs to start converting his 30s and 40s into big scores but at least he is over playing county cricket to get used to the conditions in England so give him a chance, if he fails in the ashes then ok he is out but let him have a go first.

  • Edwards_Anderson on May 5, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    I would be tempted to open with Rogers in the ashes. Another problem is that Watson bats well as opener too so you could open with these 2 but its a good problem to have. I would definitely get Khawaja in the top 6 as he was one of our best shield and Ryobi batsman till Christmas after which he hasn't played a game. Warner will fire for us in the ashes and he is another who can bat anywhere int he top 6, he is overdue.Either way its time for Cowan to convert his starts similar to what this man is doing.. Just my two cents.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on May 5, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    There was an article on Robson on here recently and I think Chris Rogers was quoted as saying he thinks he is aiming to play for England. He is one of those players with a legitimate choice to make as he has connections to both countries so it is up to him. Understandably at the moment he is just trying to make a living in the game via a contract with Middlesex and obviously keeping his England qualification open means he isnt an overseas player and can play with no problem.Until he has an offer from either country he is wise to carry on as he is. If players meet the eligibilty requirements I dont have a problem with any decision that players make in terms of their own personal careers. England get stick but that is often because players like Pietersen & Trott choose them as they can make a county cricket living easier than in other countries as a starting point.

  • on May 5, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    @Mitty2, you might want to let Silk play more than 2 matches before you pin all your hopes on him. His century took all day and I think he was also dropped three times getting there. Kurtis Patterson was in the same place 12 months ago and yet didn't play a single shield match this year. The cupboard while not empty is a long way from being full.

  • Mitty2 on May 5, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    @lyndon mcpaul: "Believe it or not; some people who experience the miserable weather, overcrowdedness and poor economy of England prefer that..." love it. And yes, if he prefers england, then that he is his choice and CA should not intervene. Contrary to popular belief, the "bare cupboard" is nothing but a coincidence over time and more supremely talented batsman will inevitably come - just hope it happens quickly and jordan silk and joe burns appease our collective fear through more dominant shield performances.

    @cricketingstargazer, you can bring up all of the intricacies and fine details about the singular word "poaching" but with a team with three of the top 7 being south african - used to be more - and a history of non-english players representing the english test team, i ask again: would you expect the reaction to be otherwise?

  • on May 5, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    If this guy Robson feels more English than Australian then it will do no good for CA to try to influence him against his loyalties. Believe it or not; some people who experience the miserable weather, overcrowdedness and poor economy of England prefer that then what Australia has to offer. Each to their own and good luck to him I say. The opportunities for both international test batting spots and future team success beyond the ashes lie in Australia however and he would be naive to think otherwise. Now that our bowling is sorted I'm sure that there will be many more young batsmen to stake their claim. It's only natural for that to happen with all the opportunities existing in the unsettled top 6 from now on. The reason that Australia has so many bowlers and not enough batsmen is because of a deliberate focus on bowling talent in recent years to establish a world class attack. This is now swinging back aggressively in the other direction and not before time.

  • CricketingStargazer on May 5, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    Incidentally, on a dialectic point: "poaching" is deliberately persuing players and offering incentives to change alligence. As far as I was aware, no one has offered a briefcase of money to anyone to change sides. In fact, more the contrary: the qualifying period to play for England is 7 years and has been increased from the 4 that was previously. You have to be very determined if you want to qualify.

    The "poaching" is more down to the fact that England and Wales offer a professional playing structure where you can make a living playing the game. Someone like Sam Robson can either play club cricket at the weekends, hoping that sometime he might get a State game (only 6 sides, so that is a difficult route), or make a pragmatic choice and decide that as he has an English mother and the automatic right to a British passport, he can make a comfortable living from the game in a different system.

  • CricketingStargazer on May 5, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    Some interesting replies, but doesn't Australia have an "A" side? It's the normal route to test players who you want to know about. I believe Australia has "A" tours. The comments about not playing Shield matches are ironic because Sam Robson has bemoaned that he has no chance of getting Shield games, hence if he wants to be a professional cricketer, it is through Middlesex: he has no inccentive to pick Australia if he wants to make a living at it.

    Incidentally, for those who look at averages and only at averages, what was Michael Vaughan's average before he was picked for England? Michael Atherton's? Marcus Trescothick's? Closer to home, what about Peter Taylor's?

    Class is class and, especially for a young player, is a more reliable indicator than a number which it is difficult to put in context, especially in a competition like the Shield where players may only get a handful of innings in a season. People use averages without actually wondering what value they have.

  • Chris_P on May 5, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer. Let me understand you correstly. You ask why Robson wasn't considered for the upcoming Ashes instead of Rogers due to his age? Surely it can't be the fact he hasn't played ONE sheffield shield game or that Rogers is averaging 13 more than him over a long carreer? Snap him up if you want, if he wasn't good enough to grab a shield spot, help me understand where he stands in the batting food chain down here? OK, got, it, interesting thought process by you, but seriously doubt even the English selectors would consider him.

  • on May 5, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Fantastic knock from Rogers too! I was thinking Australia would be best served batting him at no.4 in the upcoming series to add some steel to the middle order but i'm leaning more and more towards having him actually opening. Clarke aside he is the form Aussie batsman at the moment, I hope he goes on to a real big one today and a couple more before the test series starts, send the message to the selectors that he must play!

  • on May 5, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    CA in my opinion should definitely be sounding Robson out, the guy obviously has talent and having already knocked up half a dozen FC centuries, at age 23, looks pretty good in comparison to the likes of Marsh, Ferguson et al who've barely scored the same amount of tons aged 27-28. If he could score tons consistently and average 40 plus in the shield he'd more than hold his own. The ship though has probably sailed! Pity.

  • Showbags88 on May 5, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    I'd like to see one of the Sheffield Shield sides pick Robson up for 2013/14 season. If he scores heavily in the home summer for his chosen State then we should look at him.

    Though the Aussie Test team is not at its strongest batting wise atm. I still think the Sheffield Shield is a better competition overall than County Cricket. I want to see Robson test himself in the Shield first before he starts getting mentioned for Australian honours (if he is eligible ofcourse).

    I'm not too worried about his average. If he was 30 and still averaging under 40 then there would be a problem (Quiney, Cowan, Bailey, Ferguson, Marsh etc) but some players take more time to mature than others so his average could be indicative of him being selected before he was ready.

  • Chris_Howard on May 5, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer, what Australia lacks currently is maturity and leadership. That's why Rogers is better choice at the moment than Robson.

    Robson is young and promising. Doesn't have a great average, not conversion rate. If he starts converting those 50s, then his average will jump. He is well worth the Aussie selectors encouraging.

  • Mitty2 on May 5, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    @cricketingstargazer, would you expect otherwise? Of course there will be an uproar, we all know of england's propensity to 'poach'... But robson has not played in the shield once and obviously prefers england and the county, so his choice is his choice. He averages about 39 - so no world beater by any stretch - but it does look like we've missed out on a young talented top order player, but we've got fair compensation in jordan silk. And if anything, we need middle order players - warner/cowan opening partnership statistically being the world's best - and i'd be far more annoyed if he was prospering at 3, 4 or 5.

    Good news to see rogers racking them up before the ashes, especially in the county; age does not hinder!

  • Sir_Francis on May 4, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    You might be surprised to learn that virtually no australian has even heard of Robson, let alone know he was born in Australia. His FC ave. is nothing to write home about either. Still he's probably better than most of the current Test team.

  • Someguy on May 4, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer - yeah, lets rush a guy with an average of 38 into the test team, that will solve the problems!

  • CricketingStargazer on May 4, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    There is an interesting sub-text here: Australia, looking for reliable openers, have overlooked Sam Robson, for the stopgap solution of his opening partner, some 12 years older. If Australia don't want him, England could snap him up and the Australians will moan louder than ever about poaching.

    This was a pretty good fightback by Middlesex. It is often the case that a side bats like a team of lemmings first time around, follows-on and then shows how they *should* have done it the first time. The chances of a result tomorrow are very slim - they depend on one or other side collapsing horribly - but not quite zero. A couple of early wickets and, with a nightwatchman in it is not impossible, and Surrey may sniff half a chance of turning things round; another 120 runs by lunch and Middlesex might wonder if a quick thrash for runs after lunch could produce a Surrey wobble.

    Most likely, by lunch we will be contemplating an afternoon stalemate, but hope springs eternal...

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  • CricketingStargazer on May 4, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    There is an interesting sub-text here: Australia, looking for reliable openers, have overlooked Sam Robson, for the stopgap solution of his opening partner, some 12 years older. If Australia don't want him, England could snap him up and the Australians will moan louder than ever about poaching.

    This was a pretty good fightback by Middlesex. It is often the case that a side bats like a team of lemmings first time around, follows-on and then shows how they *should* have done it the first time. The chances of a result tomorrow are very slim - they depend on one or other side collapsing horribly - but not quite zero. A couple of early wickets and, with a nightwatchman in it is not impossible, and Surrey may sniff half a chance of turning things round; another 120 runs by lunch and Middlesex might wonder if a quick thrash for runs after lunch could produce a Surrey wobble.

    Most likely, by lunch we will be contemplating an afternoon stalemate, but hope springs eternal...

  • Someguy on May 4, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer - yeah, lets rush a guy with an average of 38 into the test team, that will solve the problems!

  • Sir_Francis on May 4, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    You might be surprised to learn that virtually no australian has even heard of Robson, let alone know he was born in Australia. His FC ave. is nothing to write home about either. Still he's probably better than most of the current Test team.

  • Mitty2 on May 5, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    @cricketingstargazer, would you expect otherwise? Of course there will be an uproar, we all know of england's propensity to 'poach'... But robson has not played in the shield once and obviously prefers england and the county, so his choice is his choice. He averages about 39 - so no world beater by any stretch - but it does look like we've missed out on a young talented top order player, but we've got fair compensation in jordan silk. And if anything, we need middle order players - warner/cowan opening partnership statistically being the world's best - and i'd be far more annoyed if he was prospering at 3, 4 or 5.

    Good news to see rogers racking them up before the ashes, especially in the county; age does not hinder!

  • Chris_Howard on May 5, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer, what Australia lacks currently is maturity and leadership. That's why Rogers is better choice at the moment than Robson.

    Robson is young and promising. Doesn't have a great average, not conversion rate. If he starts converting those 50s, then his average will jump. He is well worth the Aussie selectors encouraging.

  • Showbags88 on May 5, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    I'd like to see one of the Sheffield Shield sides pick Robson up for 2013/14 season. If he scores heavily in the home summer for his chosen State then we should look at him.

    Though the Aussie Test team is not at its strongest batting wise atm. I still think the Sheffield Shield is a better competition overall than County Cricket. I want to see Robson test himself in the Shield first before he starts getting mentioned for Australian honours (if he is eligible ofcourse).

    I'm not too worried about his average. If he was 30 and still averaging under 40 then there would be a problem (Quiney, Cowan, Bailey, Ferguson, Marsh etc) but some players take more time to mature than others so his average could be indicative of him being selected before he was ready.

  • on May 5, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    CA in my opinion should definitely be sounding Robson out, the guy obviously has talent and having already knocked up half a dozen FC centuries, at age 23, looks pretty good in comparison to the likes of Marsh, Ferguson et al who've barely scored the same amount of tons aged 27-28. If he could score tons consistently and average 40 plus in the shield he'd more than hold his own. The ship though has probably sailed! Pity.

  • on May 5, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Fantastic knock from Rogers too! I was thinking Australia would be best served batting him at no.4 in the upcoming series to add some steel to the middle order but i'm leaning more and more towards having him actually opening. Clarke aside he is the form Aussie batsman at the moment, I hope he goes on to a real big one today and a couple more before the test series starts, send the message to the selectors that he must play!

  • Chris_P on May 5, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer. Let me understand you correstly. You ask why Robson wasn't considered for the upcoming Ashes instead of Rogers due to his age? Surely it can't be the fact he hasn't played ONE sheffield shield game or that Rogers is averaging 13 more than him over a long carreer? Snap him up if you want, if he wasn't good enough to grab a shield spot, help me understand where he stands in the batting food chain down here? OK, got, it, interesting thought process by you, but seriously doubt even the English selectors would consider him.

  • CricketingStargazer on May 5, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    Some interesting replies, but doesn't Australia have an "A" side? It's the normal route to test players who you want to know about. I believe Australia has "A" tours. The comments about not playing Shield matches are ironic because Sam Robson has bemoaned that he has no chance of getting Shield games, hence if he wants to be a professional cricketer, it is through Middlesex: he has no inccentive to pick Australia if he wants to make a living at it.

    Incidentally, for those who look at averages and only at averages, what was Michael Vaughan's average before he was picked for England? Michael Atherton's? Marcus Trescothick's? Closer to home, what about Peter Taylor's?

    Class is class and, especially for a young player, is a more reliable indicator than a number which it is difficult to put in context, especially in a competition like the Shield where players may only get a handful of innings in a season. People use averages without actually wondering what value they have.