When the Ashes squad was announced many were calling it one of the worst sides to represent Australia for a very long time. However one of the more gutsy moves made by the Australian selectors was the inclusion of veteran Chris Rogers. Although their fears were helped when Rogers helped his side to safety against Surrey with a majestic double-century.
On the resumption of play he stood 113 not out, he reached his ninth double century of his career with some imposing and splendid strokes.
“Mickey Arthur sent me a text last night saying ‘well batted – save some runs for the summer’,” a content Rogers revealed
“I’m in a good place and my game feels in pretty good order,” . “But to be fair, the pitch was pretty flat when we were asked to bat on it again. Maybe we were lucky in that respect but you’ve still got to make things count.”
While many felt his record in English conditions will certainly bode well for the upcoming Ashes. Currently he averages over 50 in first-class cricket at three of the five venues that the Ashes will take place in over the summer.
“It’s a nice thing to have that familiarity with the grounds but it’ll mean nothing in the Ashes,” Rogers said. “Mostly because I’ll have a whole new set of nerves; I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to play Test cricket again for so long that now it’s just a case of taking it. I’ve got to be honest, it’s a chance I never thought I’d have again.”
His surge in the morning was quite electric, the remaining 69 runs needed for the landmark came of just 53 balls, and included a staggering 11 boundaries. Whereas before he was leaving the short balls, this day he was happy to take them on, even against the vigorous pace of Dernbach who had him taking evasive action the day before.
He sent Linley packing with a six over square leg to bring him to 175, which had him moving past his previous highest score for Middlesex. He then nonchalantly sent de Bruyn for another six to take him to 194 before bringing up his double-century.
In the upcoming Ashes the experience of Rogers will not create miracles but will go a long way to helping Australia bring the Ashes home.
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