The Investec Ashes 2013 July 30, 2013

'I've been trying too hard' - Rogers

27

Shane Watson might not quite be in "Gooch lbw Alderman" territory just yet, but he has been trapped in front three times in this series and his initial lunge forward has left him with a higher percentage of lbw dismissals than any other batsman who has played more than 70 Test innings. His opening partner Chris Rogers has a slightly unusual take on the situation.

"At least it's one thing that he can work on," Rogers said. "I'm sure he has been working on that. If he can kind of prevent that from happening then it's going to make it hard for the English bowlers ... He wouldn't be normal if he didn't realise that it's the way they're targeting him."

Whether or not Watson's pad has a silver lining, it was at least one very specific area he could work on in London and Manchester over the past week, while most of the team was playing against Sussex. Rogers was with Watson, but with no such straightforward blueprint. How can working in the nets help a batsman avoid being lbw to a thigh-high full toss, or being bowled leaving an offbreak that just didn't turn?

"I think I've been doing some pretty good things and then just getting out," Rogers said. "And that's been the disappointing thing. I know I've got to be better and whether that's concentration or whatever. I've been thinking about it a lot, naturally, and hopefully I can be better for the next few matches."

In his return to the baggy green after playing a solitary Test against India in 2008, Rogers has made 16, 52, 15 and 6, and he needs a big innings to avoid being remembered as the man who was lbw to a Graeme Swann rank full toss. Rogers would have had that decision overturned in the first innings at Lord's had he asked for a review, but having failed to have an lbw reversed at Trent Bridge and seen Watson use up one review already, he was reluctant to use the DRS.

"It kind of went up and over the sight screen and I just lost it," Rogers said. "Kind of got surprised, thought it was a free hit, and unfortunately it hit me rather embarrassingly but I guess I just lost it and I don't really know what else to say there. It was hard to know where the ball was going because there was no normal reference points and in hindsight it would have been nice to challenge the lbw.

"My lbw in the first Test, where it's just clipping and I thought that was going down, it puts a little bit of doubt in your mind about what's going on. It only has to clip so when it all happened ... the other thing is it happened so quickly, emotion takes over a little bit and there were no real reference points so it was hard to know what to do, and particularly [because] it would have been the second review."

Rogers has watched the DRS develop from afar but this is the first series he has played with the system in place, and he said it was difficult to decide on the spur of the moment how to use the reviews. He said batsmen needed to be even more conscious than usual of getting bat on ball, because the technology appeared to have encouraged umpires to give more lbw calls.

"I think that DRS has changed a lot of people's understanding of what's going on," he said. "As a cricketer I've made a pretty poor umpire so far. This is the first time I've been involved with it. It's a bit of a learning process, and you have to learn quickly.

"Naturally, if you're an umpire seeing more balls hit the stumps, then it's probably swaying your opinion but I don't know, that's their job. It's the same for both sides and as a team we've got to try and use this review system better than we have. You've got to try and get hit on the pads less. I guess the other thing is playing spin, and getting hit on the front pad, has made it a bit different. You've got to use your bat more, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing."

Having spent their time in the nets to freshen up and get away from the spotlight, Rogers and Watson will resume their opening partnership at Old Trafford later this week. Surprisingly, Rogers is yet to play a first-class match at Old Trafford despite having played 119 first-class games in the UK; fate would have it that whenever he has signed for a county team, Lancashire have typically been in the other division.

But Rogers knows that his vast experience of domestic cricket in England has given him a sound base for Test matches, even if he is yet to transfer that form to the international arena. He said it was difficult to avoid putting extra pressure on himself given the attention that is placed on Test cricketers compared to state or county players.

"This side that we're playing against, the bowlers are very good," he said. "Then just the extra pressure that you almost put yourself under. I guess in some respects I've been trying too hard, just trying to work really hard and bogging myself down a bit.

"The pressures that go on with playing international cricket - everyone looking on, the big crowds, those things - that's what you have to deal with to be a good international player. I knew that before but it's still something you have to confront."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Amith_S on July 30, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    I believe Rogers is a better opener then Cowan, however he will feel the pressure from Warner coming back as its tempting to put Warner back to opening. Rogers along with Khawaja are 2 guys made for test cricket and have the techniques to survive at this level however age may work against Rogers as he is no longer in his prime. I really hope Rogers can fire for us in the coming test. Neither Smith, Rogers or Khawaja has been given an extended run to prove themselves at the top level - the type of run Cowan received. It's impossible to move on from these guys before allowing them the chance to prove themselves.Smith and Khawaja in particular excite me as young batsman. Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Warner, Clarke, Smith might be the top 6 we end up going with for Manchester.

  • Nutcutlet on July 31, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    I want Chris Rogers to succeed in the current Ashes' series - I really do. He has the class & the understanding of English conditions & bowling to make significant contributions at the top of the order. He is just the sort of batsman who's custom-built for TC. He plays straight; knows what it is to build a long innings; doesn't play expansively until well-set & is a good team man. Now consider his designated opening partner. Opening bats are a team-within-a-team & if there appears to be one player who has not shown himself to be a team man to date, that man is his fellow opener. Rogers has been given the short straw, just when he's hoping to resurrect his Test career. There 've been luckier cricketers than CR! I find it significant that Lehmann kept the two of them back in London with the captain. I'm sure that there is a great deal of relationship rebuilding going on, not just improving Watson's batting technique.Spending time together,clearing air. Let's hope some of it has worked.

  • spot_on on July 31, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    Chris, mate, you have to try before trying too hard. I'm amused by the press conference statements by these lads. You guys are 2 down, pull up your socks fellas. This is test cricket, it needs temperament. As a regular fixture in Middlesex, you should have scored at least a couple of fifties at Lord's(Home ground of Middlesex) .. Now that says all about you, if you belong at the International level. Why don't the Aussie selectors look at Ranji games and hire some players who are playing for Indian states. Just to stabilize things at top until they get a middle order ready for a few months.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 31, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    Rogers has looked determined but the mental aberrations indicate a certain lack of composure. Perhaps similar to Compton, he wants it almost too much. Still you have to think he will grind out a few.

  • on July 31, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    I would drop one of the out-of-form batsman and get Agar in as a batsman. These are the things a captain should be looking at. Play Nathan Lyon as the lead spinner. And hopefully Jack Bird is available for the 3rd test and he will be a good replacement for Pattinson.

  • on July 31, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    I am concerned for our batting with the loss of one of our better batters in Pattinson. Hopefully Bird will step up to the plate

  • on July 31, 2013, 0:31 GMT

    Well all that hard work is paying off Rogers and Watson...oh wait...

    Drop Watson. He has failed for long enough and is a cancer on the side Warner will see it won.

  • Shaggy076 on July 30, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    milepost; YOu don't pick someone batting below 8 because they can handle a bat, you pick your best 4 bowlers the batting stats are not important with Swann, Warne and Agar.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 30, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    @milepost Statistically, Agar has the worst average of anyone who has bowled 50 overs for Australia any time in the last 10 years.

  • milepost on July 30, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Rogers is a test batsman, he will be fine. Same with Khawaja. Agar hardly had his spot challenged for by Lyon and should be first pick for a long time. Statistically you guys would have dropped Warne and Swann already and Agar is already twice the batsman those guys were.

  • Amith_S on July 30, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    I believe Rogers is a better opener then Cowan, however he will feel the pressure from Warner coming back as its tempting to put Warner back to opening. Rogers along with Khawaja are 2 guys made for test cricket and have the techniques to survive at this level however age may work against Rogers as he is no longer in his prime. I really hope Rogers can fire for us in the coming test. Neither Smith, Rogers or Khawaja has been given an extended run to prove themselves at the top level - the type of run Cowan received. It's impossible to move on from these guys before allowing them the chance to prove themselves.Smith and Khawaja in particular excite me as young batsman. Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Warner, Clarke, Smith might be the top 6 we end up going with for Manchester.

  • Nutcutlet on July 31, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    I want Chris Rogers to succeed in the current Ashes' series - I really do. He has the class & the understanding of English conditions & bowling to make significant contributions at the top of the order. He is just the sort of batsman who's custom-built for TC. He plays straight; knows what it is to build a long innings; doesn't play expansively until well-set & is a good team man. Now consider his designated opening partner. Opening bats are a team-within-a-team & if there appears to be one player who has not shown himself to be a team man to date, that man is his fellow opener. Rogers has been given the short straw, just when he's hoping to resurrect his Test career. There 've been luckier cricketers than CR! I find it significant that Lehmann kept the two of them back in London with the captain. I'm sure that there is a great deal of relationship rebuilding going on, not just improving Watson's batting technique.Spending time together,clearing air. Let's hope some of it has worked.

  • spot_on on July 31, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    Chris, mate, you have to try before trying too hard. I'm amused by the press conference statements by these lads. You guys are 2 down, pull up your socks fellas. This is test cricket, it needs temperament. As a regular fixture in Middlesex, you should have scored at least a couple of fifties at Lord's(Home ground of Middlesex) .. Now that says all about you, if you belong at the International level. Why don't the Aussie selectors look at Ranji games and hire some players who are playing for Indian states. Just to stabilize things at top until they get a middle order ready for a few months.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 31, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    Rogers has looked determined but the mental aberrations indicate a certain lack of composure. Perhaps similar to Compton, he wants it almost too much. Still you have to think he will grind out a few.

  • on July 31, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    I would drop one of the out-of-form batsman and get Agar in as a batsman. These are the things a captain should be looking at. Play Nathan Lyon as the lead spinner. And hopefully Jack Bird is available for the 3rd test and he will be a good replacement for Pattinson.

  • on July 31, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    I am concerned for our batting with the loss of one of our better batters in Pattinson. Hopefully Bird will step up to the plate

  • on July 31, 2013, 0:31 GMT

    Well all that hard work is paying off Rogers and Watson...oh wait...

    Drop Watson. He has failed for long enough and is a cancer on the side Warner will see it won.

  • Shaggy076 on July 30, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    milepost; YOu don't pick someone batting below 8 because they can handle a bat, you pick your best 4 bowlers the batting stats are not important with Swann, Warne and Agar.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 30, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    @milepost Statistically, Agar has the worst average of anyone who has bowled 50 overs for Australia any time in the last 10 years.

  • milepost on July 30, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Rogers is a test batsman, he will be fine. Same with Khawaja. Agar hardly had his spot challenged for by Lyon and should be first pick for a long time. Statistically you guys would have dropped Warne and Swann already and Agar is already twice the batsman those guys were.

  • gzk89 on July 30, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    It's more of a disservice when fans don't get to see the full 90 overs in a day due to slow over rate than if they see a low run rate, in my opinion.

    In any case, refreshing to hear an Aussie player apparently grasping DRS, as Bucky certainly seems to, knowing he can't review if he thinks it's even clipping leg. Wonder if he's told Watson that.

    I wouldn't be too surprised if (injury problems allowing) Australia drop Rogers for the OT test merely based on the fact he's in the side as a horses for courses pick, to share his knowledge of the grounds, and he's never played at OT. Certainly wouldn't mind it from a Middlesex point of view if we were to have both him and Finn back for the Durham Championship match, and Australia could always use that as their chance to do what England do and send a player off to play a county game for some runs.

  • CricketChat on July 30, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    I understand that the scoring rate in tests will be definitely slower than in ODIs and much less compared to T20 as some of the responses mention. The problem is, if you are scoring 3-4 runs every 1/2 hr, then you are playing right into oppositions plans. Since the bowlers are under no pressure at all, they can experiment more ways of getting batsmen out with aggressive field placings which seems to freeze Aus batsmen even more. doesn't matter if it is tests or not, it is a sever disservice to paying public and fans to score 1-2 runs per over in any format cricket in modern times.

  • on July 30, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    I for one would be happy to see Rogers back with Middx :-) But best of luck to him until that happens.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 30, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    Comments like StraightHit's (post on July 30, 2013, 13:20 GMT) pretty much epitomises Australia's mindset of test cricket: short-format tactics involving fast scoring/blasting the opposition out of the game. Have the Aus. selectors leaned nothing from past great teams and how most great players grafted along, often not scoring any 4's/6's for entire sessions or even games?

    Rogers is just another victim in a turmoiled squad insistent on bringing in the likes of Warner to an already short-format-specialist dominated team. How can you play a good supporting innings when there's a new batting partner coming in every over? Hussey was a smart man to retire when he did.

  • cloudmess on July 30, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    If Australia could sort their batting out, they might still be competitive in this series. Their bowling is good, rather than great, but no worse than the all-conquering '89 side (England have yet to reach 400 in this current series for example). The difference between now and then is that in '89 their top order was Taylor, Boon, Jones, Border and S Waugh - who constantly piled on the big runs to put England under pressure.

  • 158notout on July 30, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    People saying Rogers does nto score quick enough are missin gthe point, he is there to see off the new ball and occupy the crease. I believe part of the reason he has not been able to do that is ther turmoil going on around him. I would open with Cowan and Rogers and have Khawaja at 3, that is Australias best chance to put a platform down, even if the scoring rate would suffer. With Clarke at 5 it leaves two spots (4 and 6) for Hughes, Warner, Watson and Smith and to be honest I would have Smith in first out of those as much for his work-rate and enthusiasm as anything else.

    Quite honestly I cannot remember a Test team being in such turmoil with selections. Even in the 2010/11 Ashes the batting was fairly stable for Australia as far as I can recall, it was the spinner that got shafted. How can we be in the middle of an Ashes series and they still do not know who should be occupying even one single spot in the top 6. Even Clarke is constantly being quizzed about moving up. the o

  • hhillbumper on July 30, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    straighthit- Have you thought possibly that Rogers plays like a test batsman as opposed to the rest of the order who play like they should be at Club Level.It is all well scoring frenetic runs but not much cop if you keep getting out every two seconds

  • hycIass on July 30, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    If Smith is injured then Warner comes in otherwise we go with the same top 6 as Lords. Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, BIrd, Siddle, Harris, Lyon. Watch out for Khawaja, Smith and Watson to fire in the batting and Bird and Rhino to make their marks with the ball. Lyon will come into his own on day 4 and 5. If Rogers fails in Manchester then bring Warner in but surely he deserves another test.

  • on July 30, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    Rogers must be allowed to play the full series; he certainly looks good though not getting enough runs; he plays late and close to body.

  • rpatel6 on July 30, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    Top 6 for Old Trafford should be: Watson, Wade, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Warner (in that order).

  • CricketChat on July 30, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    If Warner come in, Rogers is the most likely to miss out. He seemed only intent on occupying the crease rather than looking for scoring opportunities. He seems more of a first class/club level player than test level.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 30, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    Issue with selecting Rogers is that he is past his prime, though still a good batsman and has been picked on weight of runs. Noticed that Binga wants Warner to open instead of Rogers which I think Rogers knows as well, i am inclined to give Rogers the third test before making that call. Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith is fine for me as our top 6 for Manchester.

  • on July 30, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Sparing the ignominy he experienced in the second test by getting lbw by a full toss and not to mention his other dismissals, we have to give credit to Rogers in his ability to play like a proper test batsman in this series (that is by being patient and scoring only on necessary situations). I think the quality he possess is something the other Australian batsmen haven't been able to show in this series. Unfortunately, he lacked support from the other end which we could argue that it couldn't be used as an excuse but I think that has an effect on his confidence especially when it is Ed Cowan / Khawaja comes to bat with him. I hope Lehmann sticks with him as he provides the invaluable experience of English soil to this battered Australian team.

    Just an honest opinion of an Indonesian cricket fan :)

  • VillageBlacksmith on July 30, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    "It kind of went up and over the sight screen and I just lost it''... should have gone to specsavers mate

  • Sachit1979 on July 30, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    Rogers should be given full series. He would definitely stand out as one of the better performers.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 30, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    It's been a big ask to come in ahead of 3 left handed openers already in the squad to shore up the top order, but I don't think Boof will worry much about Rogers. With that many county runs behind him sooner or later he will come good. Plus Hughes and Cowan aren't exactly battering the door down.

  • Charlie101 on July 30, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Rogers plays like a proper opening batsmen and I hope he gets a decent run in the Aussie team

  • Charlie101 on July 30, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Rogers plays like a proper opening batsmen and I hope he gets a decent run in the Aussie team

  • 2MikeGattings on July 30, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    It's been a big ask to come in ahead of 3 left handed openers already in the squad to shore up the top order, but I don't think Boof will worry much about Rogers. With that many county runs behind him sooner or later he will come good. Plus Hughes and Cowan aren't exactly battering the door down.

  • Sachit1979 on July 30, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    Rogers should be given full series. He would definitely stand out as one of the better performers.

  • VillageBlacksmith on July 30, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    "It kind of went up and over the sight screen and I just lost it''... should have gone to specsavers mate

  • on July 30, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Sparing the ignominy he experienced in the second test by getting lbw by a full toss and not to mention his other dismissals, we have to give credit to Rogers in his ability to play like a proper test batsman in this series (that is by being patient and scoring only on necessary situations). I think the quality he possess is something the other Australian batsmen haven't been able to show in this series. Unfortunately, he lacked support from the other end which we could argue that it couldn't be used as an excuse but I think that has an effect on his confidence especially when it is Ed Cowan / Khawaja comes to bat with him. I hope Lehmann sticks with him as he provides the invaluable experience of English soil to this battered Australian team.

    Just an honest opinion of an Indonesian cricket fan :)

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 30, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    Issue with selecting Rogers is that he is past his prime, though still a good batsman and has been picked on weight of runs. Noticed that Binga wants Warner to open instead of Rogers which I think Rogers knows as well, i am inclined to give Rogers the third test before making that call. Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith is fine for me as our top 6 for Manchester.

  • CricketChat on July 30, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    If Warner come in, Rogers is the most likely to miss out. He seemed only intent on occupying the crease rather than looking for scoring opportunities. He seems more of a first class/club level player than test level.

  • rpatel6 on July 30, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    Top 6 for Old Trafford should be: Watson, Wade, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Warner (in that order).

  • on July 30, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    Rogers must be allowed to play the full series; he certainly looks good though not getting enough runs; he plays late and close to body.

  • hycIass on July 30, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    If Smith is injured then Warner comes in otherwise we go with the same top 6 as Lords. Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, BIrd, Siddle, Harris, Lyon. Watch out for Khawaja, Smith and Watson to fire in the batting and Bird and Rhino to make their marks with the ball. Lyon will come into his own on day 4 and 5. If Rogers fails in Manchester then bring Warner in but surely he deserves another test.