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Rogers and Watson


Rogers to help unleash Watson

Run-machine Chris Rogers believes he can help opening partner Shane Watson harness the concentration to be a batting game-breaker in the Ashes series.

Watson has been in formidable touch in Australia's tour matches, but his Test record is underwhelming when it comes to going on to make big scores.

The powerful opener has just two Test centuries to his name from 41 matches, and has been out for between 80 and 99 seven times during his career.

Watson has the potential to tear attacks apart but his record suggests he loses focus when he approaches three figures.

Rogers on the other hand has made a career out of accumulating runs - approaching 20,000 in first class cricket.

Although the first Test at Trent Bridge on Wednesday will be his first since 2008, Rogers believes he can bring out the best in Watson.

"I think with batting it's about keeping in your own little bubble and making sure your focus is strong and that you're setting yourself to bat for a long time," Rogers said.

"Over my career that's been one of my skills, so maybe I can just give a little bit of insight into that.

"His challenge is to bat for long periods of time, which he certainly has the skill and the temperament to do. It's up to him now. Hopefully if I get the chance I can help with that a little bit as well."

The 35-year-old is preparing for a remarkable return to the Test arena after his one and only appearance in a baggy green came five years ago against India in Perth.

Rogers said the wounds were still deep from all the years he was overlooked.

"I look at what (recent two-Test selection) Bobby (Rob) Quiney has gone through and can sympathise knowing how hard you strive to get to the top," he said.

"And then to be dropped you feel like you're back at the start of the queue. It's a bit soul-destroying. I remember those times quite vividly. Without some of that (family) support I'm not sure I'd be here."

Picked largely because of his intimate knowledge of English conditions, Rogers said he'd be chiefly in charge of polishing the Dukes ball in the field and would play a further role informing younger members of the squad about how Trent Bridge plays.

With hot weather predicted for the next week, Rogers said the track may suit England spinner Graeme Swann more than it will the swing of James Anderson.

Despite the team's failures against spin in India, Rogers said batsmen needed to think aggressively and put Swann under the pump.

"He will be under a bit of pressure as well. There's a lot expected of him, so hopefully we can nullify him and then put the others under pressure," Rogers said.

"His consistency is amazing and the fact he gets so many revs on the ball is a huge challenge.

"It's one I'm looking forward to. I've got to get to him first, but I've got to have my techniques down, make sure I'm switched on."

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