Rogers to take young guns back to basics

Champion batsman aims to use the game's modern greats to inspire Australia's youth

Sam Ferris

22 May 2018, 11:59 AM AEST

New Cricket Australia High Performance coach Chris Rogers will be taking Australia's next generation of batsmen back to basics having seen them lose ground to their international peers.

After concluding a prolific professional career in September 2016, Rogers started his first 'proper job', as he calls it, yesterday as a High Performance coach at Brisbane's Bupa National Cricket Centre tasked with mentoring the country's talented young batsmen in CA's National Performance Squad. 

Having worked with Australia's Under 19 side as an assistant coach in this year's youth World Cup in New Zealand, Rogers noticed a stark difference in the technical development of Australia's batsmen compared to those representing India, who comprehensively beat the Aussies in the final by eight wickets. 

"What I believe in at this stage, and it's going to change and adapt as you go along, it's important that we get our foundations right that enable us to really work through the mental and tactical side as well," Rogers told

"As I understand it, being honest, we're technically probably not where we need to be, and I daresay there are other countries who are in front of us in that. 

"I only had to look at the Under 19s and the way the Indian batsmen played and how impressively they went about it. 

"Then compare to it to where we're at and I think the Aussie Under 19 players would be the first to say, 'Yeah, they were a level above'. 

"There's some good scope to work in that area."

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While that might make ominous reading, 15 of the 17 World Cup squad, who made the final for the first time since 2012, have been awarded state contracts for the 2018-19 season, including eight of the 10 NPS players. 

And Rogers says the fix to get the youngsters up to speed isn't rocket science.

The 40-year-old, who played 25 Tests and scored 76 first-class centuries, will look to apply the basics used by the modern greats of the game to the 10-man 2018 NPS cohort this winter.

"It's not a complicated thing," he said. "There are some very simple basics that we could do better. 

"If you look at the likes of (Virat) Kohli, (AB) de Villiers, (Kane) Williamson and (Joe) Root, what are the key things they are doing that makes them so good, what are their fundamentals and do we have a clear understanding of what that is? 

"That's something I feel particularly close to and how I can help some of the younger players appreciate that."

Why Rogers attacked his Baggy Green with scissors

One standout feature of Rogers' 18-year professional career was his ability to combat swing bowling, a skill that was forged over more than a decade in England's county cricket system.

Australia's men's side haven't won a Test series in England since the 3-1 victory in 2001, a losing streak that will stretch as long as Rogers' career by the time Tim Paine's charges arrive in England for next year's Ashes. 

While winning the Ashes away is major goal for Australia, new national head coach Justin Langer described winning in the subcontinent in 2021 as the "ultimate" in his first press conference in the coveted role.

So Rogers, under National Performance Head Coach Troy Cooley and alongside former Australia quick Ryan Harris, will have his hands full equipping the next generation with a skill set to succeed all around the globe.

"I definitely have some beliefs about what in general we can be doing better, what I believe the world's best do, and they are some of the things I have already put forward and created some discussion around that," Rogers said. 

"But not just that (playing swing bowling), we've got lots of challenges coming up. It's going to be spin as well as swing and different kind of challenges. 

"It's also about identifying where we can get better as batsmen in general and what are some of the key reforms we can make about how we coach batting, in particular. 

"Ryan Harris will have similar kind of issues for him in the bowling and no doubt we'll be working together."