England v Australia, 4th Investec Ashes Test, Durham, 2nd day August 10, 2013

Can't take hundred away from me - Rogers

42

Last year, Chris Rogers was almost cut from Victoria's contract list as the state looked to prepare future Test cricketers. At 34, Rogers did not appear to fit the bill. Now, Rogers is not only a Test cricketer again, five years after his one-off match against India, but he is a Test centurion. An Ashes centurion, no less. It is little wonder that Rogers was emotional when he reached triple figures at Chester-le-Street, nor when he was interviewed after play.

At 35, he was the second-oldest man ever to score a maiden Test century for Australia. He did so with more than 20,000 first-class runs to his name. Rogers said the uncertainty of when, if ever, he would get another chance at Test cricket after he replaced the injured Matthew Hayden at the WACA in 2008 made his hundred all the more special.

"After all this time you just don't think that this opportunity is going to come up," Rogers said. "I wanted to believe I was good enough but never knew. To get a hundred, that's something that no one can take away from me, and I can tell my grandchildren about it now ... if I have any."

That Rogers is even part of this Ashes side is a quirk of fate, for had the Australians still boasted the experience of Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting as they hoped they would a year ago, he would not have been deemed such a necessity. It appeared that Rogers had missed the cut when the selectors used men like Phil Jaques, Phillip Hughes and Simon Katich over the past few years, but he refused to give up at first-class level.

"There's times when sides have been picked and I haven't been in them and thought that that was my chance but it didn't happen," Rogers said. "Finally this opportunity has come along and I've really wanted to make the most of it and you can say that, but you've still got to go out and perform. It was my day today. There were so many things that went my way. You've just got to make the most of it and fortunately I did.

"I'd always hoped so but it just felt like there was always one bloke in the way. It was those two [Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer] then it was Jaquesy, then it was Katich, then Phil, then Watto went and opened. It just felt like there was always one bloke in the way but I get to play cricket for a living and I set high standards. I've been happy to go along and perform as well as I can and hope for this one opportunity. Fortunately it has come along."

Not that triple figures was a certainty, as Rogers well knew having made 84 at Old Trafford last week. As he made his way through the nineties, he began to get edgy and he was stuck on 96 for 19 consecutive deliveries from Graeme Swann, scooping a couple of near catches into the leg side before sweeping a boundary to become Australia's second centurion of the series.

"I didn't have a care in the world," Rogers joked of his time on 96. "No, it was a nervous time. I got the score in the last game and thought that was maybe my opportunity and just got to the 90s and the England boys were saying 'If you don't get it now, you may never'. It was just a fantastic moment to finally get it.

"It was emotional out there, that's for sure. And it has been. Initially to get picked for Australia was amazing, but the nerves and the things that go with it ... the Lord's Test match, that was as low as I've been for a while, hearing the criticism coming in and feeling like you've let down your country. That hurts. To play well in the last Test and to back it up in this one means a lot to me."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dorothydix on August 10, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    A thoroughly well deserved 100 and so pleased that he has been given the opportunity to play Test cricket again as his performances in England and Australia have been so consistently good over the years. It is all well and good to encourage youth but at the end of the day selection for Australia must be based on consistent performance not potential. Rogers has battled his way to the top by having to score truck loads of runs at grade level in Perth and consequently at Shield and County level to finally get at run with the Test side. This process has moulded his game and has prepared him for the top level pretty much the same way as Hussey. Full credit to Inverarity too for his part in recognising Rogers` value to Australian cricket when he was nearly lost to Shield cricket. Hopefully lessons will be learned from this and that Australia will put Grade cricket back to being the foundation instead of the AIS and schoolboy cricket (Australia U/19s).

  • Greatest_Game on August 10, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    Congratulations to Chis Rodgers. To see a man who has achieved so much in 1st class cricket, yet never given up hope and continued to pursue his dreams, finally earn a maiden test century was indeed a special and unforgettable moment. It is days like these that remind me why I have followed test cricket all my life. No other game seems able to build and maintain the complex layers of plot and story that at times make it closer to theatre than a sport. I'd love to see him show all his mettle and make it a double, and carry his bat. Long may he prosper.

  • Sachit1979 on August 11, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    I can't understand why this guy was not in baggy green for these many years. He could have avoided 4-0 whitewash against India.

  • paapam on August 11, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    A fairy tale really. Hope it lasts. Along with Hodge one of the unluckiest of Australian cricketers.

  • strikeforce2003 on August 11, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    Well played Chris, though will need to see more from you in the crucial 2nd innings.,you Were denied a place with your nation's team as no one could ever contemplate sneaking past the greats of Waughs, Ponting, openers in the time warp between 1990 onto 2004. Rogers,you have the experience and the chance though not wrongly denied totally as such earlier, it could now & then nag you, seeing so many open spaces filled easier by youngsters so easily in a fledging Aussie team as of now..knowing such that they occupy the green baggies with half the flair as you carried in your prime.,it's though now to remind yourself of bygones being bygones, this is your time..make the best of it. Remember Day 4 of this Test makes you great,with the English county experience stacked in a decade inside you, just go for the runs & win for Australia

  • Jagdish3k on August 11, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    That's destiny. Very happy for Rogers.Hope a few more from him.I hope Aus selectors are patient with him and he is given a place in team for next one or two years.I still feel the root cause of Aus failure in test cricket is due to bad selection and not giving enough opportunity to players.

  • Chris_Howard on August 11, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    @Big_Maxy_Walker Ya, I cringe when I think about what we missed by losing Jacques and Katich. Feel sorry for them both that their Test careers were curtailed early.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on August 11, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Phil Jacques would still be in the team had it not been for a bad back. An average of 47 with 3 hundreds in 11 matches. So to say he didn't cement his spot is misleading. Katich should have been brought back after the injury recovery. His first class record has been good since then. The selections of openers Cowan, Hughes, Watson and Warner ahead of Rogers and Katich is ridiculous. Think of the tests we could have won with the older guys opening.

  • jlw74 on August 11, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    What a pleasure to witness a good old fashion tough as nails test century from a tough as nails opener. Congrats Chris Rodgers that was a pleasure to watch and on a true testing test match wicket and not a flat track. Here's to a few more Mr Rodgers and a timely reminder to all that's its never to late to reach your goals regardless of what they are.

  • on August 11, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    Great achievement. Really got amazed with his temperament. The selectors were brave and he proved them right. There is a lesson for other teams' selectors in this, dont go with the age, look for skill.

  • dorothydix on August 10, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    A thoroughly well deserved 100 and so pleased that he has been given the opportunity to play Test cricket again as his performances in England and Australia have been so consistently good over the years. It is all well and good to encourage youth but at the end of the day selection for Australia must be based on consistent performance not potential. Rogers has battled his way to the top by having to score truck loads of runs at grade level in Perth and consequently at Shield and County level to finally get at run with the Test side. This process has moulded his game and has prepared him for the top level pretty much the same way as Hussey. Full credit to Inverarity too for his part in recognising Rogers` value to Australian cricket when he was nearly lost to Shield cricket. Hopefully lessons will be learned from this and that Australia will put Grade cricket back to being the foundation instead of the AIS and schoolboy cricket (Australia U/19s).

  • Greatest_Game on August 10, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    Congratulations to Chis Rodgers. To see a man who has achieved so much in 1st class cricket, yet never given up hope and continued to pursue his dreams, finally earn a maiden test century was indeed a special and unforgettable moment. It is days like these that remind me why I have followed test cricket all my life. No other game seems able to build and maintain the complex layers of plot and story that at times make it closer to theatre than a sport. I'd love to see him show all his mettle and make it a double, and carry his bat. Long may he prosper.

  • Sachit1979 on August 11, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    I can't understand why this guy was not in baggy green for these many years. He could have avoided 4-0 whitewash against India.

  • paapam on August 11, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    A fairy tale really. Hope it lasts. Along with Hodge one of the unluckiest of Australian cricketers.

  • strikeforce2003 on August 11, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    Well played Chris, though will need to see more from you in the crucial 2nd innings.,you Were denied a place with your nation's team as no one could ever contemplate sneaking past the greats of Waughs, Ponting, openers in the time warp between 1990 onto 2004. Rogers,you have the experience and the chance though not wrongly denied totally as such earlier, it could now & then nag you, seeing so many open spaces filled easier by youngsters so easily in a fledging Aussie team as of now..knowing such that they occupy the green baggies with half the flair as you carried in your prime.,it's though now to remind yourself of bygones being bygones, this is your time..make the best of it. Remember Day 4 of this Test makes you great,with the English county experience stacked in a decade inside you, just go for the runs & win for Australia

  • Jagdish3k on August 11, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    That's destiny. Very happy for Rogers.Hope a few more from him.I hope Aus selectors are patient with him and he is given a place in team for next one or two years.I still feel the root cause of Aus failure in test cricket is due to bad selection and not giving enough opportunity to players.

  • Chris_Howard on August 11, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    @Big_Maxy_Walker Ya, I cringe when I think about what we missed by losing Jacques and Katich. Feel sorry for them both that their Test careers were curtailed early.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on August 11, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Phil Jacques would still be in the team had it not been for a bad back. An average of 47 with 3 hundreds in 11 matches. So to say he didn't cement his spot is misleading. Katich should have been brought back after the injury recovery. His first class record has been good since then. The selections of openers Cowan, Hughes, Watson and Warner ahead of Rogers and Katich is ridiculous. Think of the tests we could have won with the older guys opening.

  • jlw74 on August 11, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    What a pleasure to witness a good old fashion tough as nails test century from a tough as nails opener. Congrats Chris Rodgers that was a pleasure to watch and on a true testing test match wicket and not a flat track. Here's to a few more Mr Rodgers and a timely reminder to all that's its never to late to reach your goals regardless of what they are.

  • on August 11, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    Great achievement. Really got amazed with his temperament. The selectors were brave and he proved them right. There is a lesson for other teams' selectors in this, dont go with the age, look for skill.

  • Micky.Panda on August 11, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    Rogers should have been picked years ago and Katich moved to No. 3. Cowan was instead picked after a couple of good scores rather than a solid career. Dumb, and has really cost Australia big time. Ponting was occupying No. 3 when was out of form and could have been dropped to No. 6 or completely dropped. The problem was he was the Captain.

  • Barnesy4444 on August 11, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    It is actually an excellent innings. Moving ball, good bowling, early wickets, behind in the series, these are the type of innings Australia needs at the top of the order on a regular basis. Warner has played one against N.Z. a couple of years ago but that's about it.

  • on August 11, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    He'll be 36 soon, but can he sustain his form well past that age. Most cricketers lose form after the age of 35. I say he's cemented his spot for the return ashes series in Australia. The pitches are different in Australia and his form in Shield cricket is not as good as County cricket. So it's no surprise he scored a hundred n England but how would he do on Australian pitches? Or would the selectors dump him for Warner, Watson and Hughes.

  • on August 11, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    Broad aside I thought the England bowlers were unable to apply consistent pressure on a favourable bowling track. There was always that one bad ball per over and allowed the Aussies to keep the score board moving. Rogers may not be the most attractive batsman to watch but he values his wicket and played an innings that I hope will be the winning of this match. If the wicket continues in this vein I expect the Aussie line and length attack will dismiss England very cheaply so any first innings lead will be invaluable. Based on the first 2 days Australia well deserve to be on top as they were all of the third test. I hope the England top order shows their class but to date they have struggled to combine to put any significant score together.

  • popcorn on August 11, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    I hope the Selectors realize that Chris Rogers is the type of Opener we need for Terst Cricket - not unreliable blokes like David Warner and Phil Hughes.Those two are good for T20 and ODIs ONLY.

  • on August 11, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    "Chris Rogers, Congratulations, young man!" - from a 74 year old Cricket enthusiast.

  • on August 11, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    To see a lot of lefthanders,n the Aussie playing sheet was never a major surprise.N the last decade batsmen like Simon katich,Phil Jacques,Phil Hughes,David Warner,Marcus North,Ed Cowan ave not quite cemented their slots..may b that is a reason for their slip from their much vaunted position with inconsistent, poor starts. All of em have had their moments ,aving fleetingly done well,in relation to Giants like HAYDEN/TAYLOR/LANGER/BORDER/HUSSEY/ADAM GILCHRIST .....unable to replicate half their success,although one /two ave time to correct a stop/start Syndrome.... GR8 also to see a nuggety/old fashioned scrap by Chris rogers..waiting n the sidelines, developing banks of experience,with patience on a monument, he held it together with little flash,more substance, n the face of adversity..phlegmatic fightback!one wonders how far the late blooomer, wud go on to serve em , given he is 36! his comeback wud inspire the Troops!Epic turnaround beckons the Oz and he may well be the catalyst!

  • whitemonk on August 11, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    "To get a hundred, that's something that no one can take away from me, and I can tell my grandchildren about it now ... if I have any."

    I can almost sense the afterthought "..if I have any" from a man who has been waiting long for a dream to come true, which surely, at times he thought would never come true. Lots of admiration from an Indian fan, mate. Well done!

  • Cricket_Man on August 11, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    You belong to international cricket. Excellent batting Chris Rogers!! I know that you have a point to prove and that hunger of yours will help you get loads of run at international cricket. Well done to the selectors who selected Chris Rogers.

  • Mayank19 on August 11, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    Chris Rogers- A true Australian with the never say die attitude. He was lucky yesterday a couple of times but as they say "Fortune favours the brave". Well done.

  • on August 11, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    Absolutely true Clipped ...Welldone Chris Rogers you stand as an example to the youth...1st class runs matter !!! If I was a young batsmen and had a chance to fasttrack thru the 20/20 system I'd run a mile ...As the Great Bill O'Rielly said äny young player sees a coach coming for them hide ! Well done Chris :D

  • 07sanjeewakaru on August 11, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Congratulations Mr.Rogers for arriving a wonderful oasis in your everlasting hard journey... from a Sri Lankan fan.I had extremely nervous half an hour or so in your 90s. Relived after you got there.Thanks million for demonstrating this blind world how precious a test hundred and test cricket is.You are a silence embodiment of shear perseverance and Determination.Salute you Mr.Rogers for showing the hard yards someone've traveled may payback some day.

  • Gregg22 on August 11, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    This is truly inspiring. I'm so happy for Rogers. There's nothing fancy, flamboyant or over the top about his game, yet the simplicity of it, is so captivating. Watching him graft so hard for this made it even more special. I was definitely one of those willing him to get those last four runs. He's an old fashioned scrapper and i mean that as a compliment. Only one in their side with that trait. The feeling of joy, admiration and relief that came over me when he reached his century is somewhat confusing seeing that i'm a full blooded South African. There's just something about this guy that makes you wanna see him do well. May he continue for as long as possible and i'm looking forward to seeing him play in SA soon. I hope he scores runs against us, and that Steyn, Morkel and Philander don't make life too difficult for him. Still want us to win though :) .

  • Guthers007 on August 11, 2013, 3:47 GMT

    Good on ya, Chris!

    There must have been someone along the way that didn't like you, I reckon.

  • on August 11, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    This is called d Spirit of Life.. Never say Never..Hats of to this Man.. We hope that however tests He gets from nw on, He sets a new standard everytime he comes to d crease.

  • humdrum on August 11, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    Sure,there would have been some chirping out there,and Swann nearly got him. But mind over matter prevailed. Cheers to the most consistent aussie batsman in this series.

  • playfaircricket on August 11, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    Ya well played Chris...u r playing very well..through from English summer..I'm happy for u..wish u score more n more...rock on...iwant Australian dominance again in cricket...come on

  • ClippedThroughMid-Wicket on August 11, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    rogerrrrrrrrrrrrrsss!!!!!!!!! so proud! should have been in the test squad before he packed up and left w.a. what an unfulfilled talent he is, should have played 100 tests in my view! why persist with watson as an opener, phil jaques, cowan, when THIS GUY was RIGHT THERE! he would have been looking at jaques and cowan and just laughing at them, saying "these guys are not a whisker on my talent" and its true! well done chris rogers!

  • crimsonbull on August 11, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    Aus is no longer a one man team

  • vatsap on August 11, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    Hats off ... Chris Rogers. He was hung up high and dry after just one chance against India in Perth. He played very well. The Australian selectors will be kicking their back sides on Katich. First Hussey, now Rogers. They are missing out on all these late bloomers.

  • pharaohsdad on August 11, 2013, 2:06 GMT

    CONGRATULATIONS Mr.Rogers !!! Determination, Character, Fulfillment.

    Serene, I fold my hands and wait, Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea; I rave no more 'gainst time or fate, For lo! my own shall come to me. John Burroughs.

  • rocket123 on August 11, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    First, Boycott should take back his comments when he said after Lord's Test that Rogers at best looked like a decent county cricketer with not much ability to make the cut at Test Level. Here, he made a brilliant 84, sacrificed his innings for the team and his country to score fast in the 2nd innings at OT. Then to back up his skills he has made a superb 100. Second, Watson has all the skills to be a great allrounder or just a batsmen. He is so pleasing on the eyes when he gets going in the batting. His cover drives, square cuts, pulls and powered bowler back drives are a treat to watch. It looks like that he lost his focus a bit when MC took over the reigns as captain for whatever reasons. But today, he showed why he has been rated so highly and talented in cricket. He has the ability to shift gears and today he showed that with immense focus. It is just a matter of time when he will cross the barriers of hundreds and then score big hundreds. He can take the game away fast.

  • on August 11, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    Well played Chris Rogers ! You would have deserved to be in the Aussie side long time back.

  • Chris_P on August 11, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    I still think it was special that Haddin was out there with him, at almost the same age,as Haddin would have known what Rogers had been through. This was a testimony to the grittiness & character of Chris "Buck" Rogers. No one I can think of is more deserving of this.

  • Capricorn60 on August 11, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    Congrats Chris Rogers - a cricketing fairy tale! Absolutely wonderful that your your perseverance & dedication in waiting for such an opportunity has paid off. I am sure cricket fans [even those supporting England] from all over the world were nervously willing you to get those last four runs in reaching your maiden Test century. Hope just like the great Michael Hussey, who also made his Test debut aged 30, you too go on to achieve a lot more in Test cricket in the next few years like he did.

  • on August 10, 2013, 23:51 GMT

    What a great story. No reason why he can't go on for another couple of years.

  • on August 10, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    Champion effort on an absolute minefield. Who cares about age? Australia needs every competent batsman they can find. Keep him in the team till 45 if need be.

  • on August 10, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    Lot of respect for Rogers! Just like his honesty, determination, perceiverance... His celebrations were muted on reaching the milestone - showed maturity! Like his style. Hope he makes few more before he eventually finishes

  • on August 10, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    Well done mate. Richly deserved. Exactly what Australia needed.

  • gahapanmachan on August 10, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    Good on ya mate. Was nervous for you just as you were at the start and cheering each run. Went to bed at lunch hoping to see a 100 on the screen in the morning and there it is. Now do the same and stick it up good old fella.

  • cricman13 on August 10, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    I am an INDIAN ! But I believe that a strong Aussie team is a must to maintain the balance in the world of cricket !!! Simply because over the years everytime the Indian tean beat Australia we would be overjoyed that India had beaten the best in the world,and we always felt that it was the real test!

    CONGRATULATIONS to Chris Rogers - he is the symbol of true Aussie spirit & never say die attitude, same like Mat Hayden & Mike Hussey who started their International careers late (at least by Indian Standards) & for that matter Brad Haddin who simply did not get a chance because he was born in the GILCHRIST eraA(& we Indians love Admam Gilhchrist, he is the best wicketkeeper batsman ever & the most honest cricketer that I have seen.. sorry MSD I think you are great too but after Adam ;-) )! Please do publish this comment since I want to add my sincere congratulations to all the accolades that a gritty and determined cricketer like Chris Rogers deserves ! Go Aussies, beat the POMS!!!

  • on August 10, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Thats one Humble Oze cricketer!!! for sure, long live Ashes, most genuine and highly recommended series to watch

  • on August 10, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Thats one Humble Oze cricketer!!! for sure, long live Ashes, most genuine and highly recommended series to watch

  • cricman13 on August 10, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    I am an INDIAN ! But I believe that a strong Aussie team is a must to maintain the balance in the world of cricket !!! Simply because over the years everytime the Indian tean beat Australia we would be overjoyed that India had beaten the best in the world,and we always felt that it was the real test!

    CONGRATULATIONS to Chris Rogers - he is the symbol of true Aussie spirit & never say die attitude, same like Mat Hayden & Mike Hussey who started their International careers late (at least by Indian Standards) & for that matter Brad Haddin who simply did not get a chance because he was born in the GILCHRIST eraA(& we Indians love Admam Gilhchrist, he is the best wicketkeeper batsman ever & the most honest cricketer that I have seen.. sorry MSD I think you are great too but after Adam ;-) )! Please do publish this comment since I want to add my sincere congratulations to all the accolades that a gritty and determined cricketer like Chris Rogers deserves ! Go Aussies, beat the POMS!!!

  • gahapanmachan on August 10, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    Good on ya mate. Was nervous for you just as you were at the start and cheering each run. Went to bed at lunch hoping to see a 100 on the screen in the morning and there it is. Now do the same and stick it up good old fella.

  • on August 10, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    Well done mate. Richly deserved. Exactly what Australia needed.

  • on August 10, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    Lot of respect for Rogers! Just like his honesty, determination, perceiverance... His celebrations were muted on reaching the milestone - showed maturity! Like his style. Hope he makes few more before he eventually finishes

  • on August 10, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    Champion effort on an absolute minefield. Who cares about age? Australia needs every competent batsman they can find. Keep him in the team till 45 if need be.

  • on August 10, 2013, 23:51 GMT

    What a great story. No reason why he can't go on for another couple of years.

  • Capricorn60 on August 11, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    Congrats Chris Rogers - a cricketing fairy tale! Absolutely wonderful that your your perseverance & dedication in waiting for such an opportunity has paid off. I am sure cricket fans [even those supporting England] from all over the world were nervously willing you to get those last four runs in reaching your maiden Test century. Hope just like the great Michael Hussey, who also made his Test debut aged 30, you too go on to achieve a lot more in Test cricket in the next few years like he did.

  • Chris_P on August 11, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    I still think it was special that Haddin was out there with him, at almost the same age,as Haddin would have known what Rogers had been through. This was a testimony to the grittiness & character of Chris "Buck" Rogers. No one I can think of is more deserving of this.

  • on August 11, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    Well played Chris Rogers ! You would have deserved to be in the Aussie side long time back.