Derbyshire v Australians, Derby, 2nd day

Rogers holds on to Test hopes

Brydon Coverdale in Derby

July 9, 2010

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Chris Rogers cracked 93, narrowly missing out on a century against the touring Australians, Derbyshire v Australians, Tour match, Derby, 2nd day, July 9, 2010
Chris Rogers narrowly missed out on a hundred against the touring Australians © Getty Images
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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

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Posted by onlinegamer55 on (July 10, 2010, 9:24 GMT)

Rogers will never play for Australia again because there are too many candidates for the opening slot. Katich is in good form and looks like he'll play for at least 1-2 years longer. Watson's form is dropping - he can't expect to play every match like he did in the summer - but he's still playing well. I suspect sooner or later he'll be moved down the order to make way for Hughes. But that means dropping someone down the order and who do you drop? North saved his test career, but if he goes through another lean run he could be out of the team before he knows it. Even then, the selectors will blood Smith because he has to enter the team somewhere sooner or later. So someone else needs to fail for Watson to move down the order - perhaps Hussey. Even if all this happens, Hughes will open, and the next slot (which I can only see after Katich's retirement) will go to Jacques who has performed in the past unlike Rogers. And by the time all this happens, Rogers will have grandchildren!

Posted by popcorn on (July 10, 2010, 3:42 GMT)

Chris Rogers is a classy batsman,an accomplished opener,who was done in by poor umpiring in the only Test he played - against India, when Mathew Hayden was injured.Like Simion Katich, he has been scoring good runs in the domestic season. Like Katich, he should be given an opportunity in the Test side again.I think his time will come,when Simon Katich finally retires. Austytalia are blessed with good openers now - Shane watson,Simon Katich,Phil Hughes,Phil Jaques.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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