Rogers holds on to Test hopes
Australia's discarded Test opener Chris Rogers hasn't given up on adding to his sole cap, despite slipping behind Phillip Hughes in the backup queue. Rogers made a professional 93 for Derbyshire against Ricky Ponting's men in their warm-up game and, after losing his Cricket Australia contract nearly two years ago, this date was circled on his calendar.
"It was an enjoyable day," Rogers said. "I've been looking forward to this challenge for a while. It's good to get some runs against Australia. It's good for my confidence and hopefully it'll show a few people that I can play. This game has been looked forward to, almost since last year. I've been pretty nervous about the challenge but looking forward to it. To do well is very satisfying."
At 32, Rogers knows that time is not on his side if he is to resume the Test career that began at the WACA against India in January 2008. Shane Watson and Simon Katich are firmly established at the top of the order in Tests, while Hughes is clearly next in line and as an older former Test player, Rogers is in the same boat as Phil Jaques.
Rogers had another productive summer for Victoria last season, though his 641 Sheffield Shield runs at 49.30 was down from his peak a couple of years earlier. However, Rogers is aware that Katich was 32 when he broke back into the Test team, so it can be done, and with 912 county runs at 65.14 this year he still holds a flicker of hope of one day playing another Test.
"It's always there," Rogers said. "I know Australia are looking to the future a little bit, too. But I'd like to think that if there was ever an opportunity that I'd be ready. Today has been a good day."
For half the day, Rogers frustrated the Australian bowlers in their only day of bowling in match conditions before Tuesday's first Test against Pakistan. Rogers was eventually caught behind off Johnson, who found some reverse swing later in the innings, and Rogers was impressed with the attack.
"I always think Dougie [Bollinger] is a fine bowler, and Hilf has good skills, but Mitch was probably the pick today, when he ran in and got it reversing and hit the wicket, that became very tough," Rogers said. "I didn't last too long then. I could see that on a wicket that's a bit more conducive, they're going to be very much a handful."
Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo