ASHES: Talking points from Chester-le-Street Day Two

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

188 Have your say

    Chris Rogers has announced his retirement from first class cricket at 39. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

    Related coverage

    Did Shane Watson save his Test career? Has Chris Rogers finally got some luck? Is Stuart Broad the most frustrating bowler in Test cricket?

    Chris Rogers finally gets a break
    Having been the victim of unfortunate LBW decisions in both of the first two Tests, including the embarrassing “midriff” dismissal to Swann, Rogers gleefully exploited the luck which flowed his way yesterday.

    A dropped catch, a lineball DRS decision, countless plays and misses and several French cuts punctuated his debut Test ton.

    The stalwart’s innings appeared over on 20 when he was adjudged caught behind from a Broad delivery which cut him in half.

    Rogers consulted with non-striker Clarke and the central umpire before calling for a review.

    Replays showed the ball missed the edge of Rogers bat, but did clip his pad on the way through to keeper Matt Prior.

    The third umpire, after identifying the caught behind decision was incorrect, checked the LBW.

    The English players celebrated heartily when Hawk Eye showed the ball just clipping the off bail.

    But, given the umpire had not adjudged Rogers LBW, more than 50% of the ball was required to be striking the stumps and he was handed a reprieve.

    It was a bizarre turn of events which perhaps gave the opener a hint that it may just be his day.

    If that incident was not sufficient indication then he was surely left in no doubt by the lucky manner in which he registered his half century.

    Rogers moved from 49 to 50 after Swann dove in front of first slip Alastair Cook and spilled a difficult low edge offered by the left hander.

    The Victorian batted with greater assuredness into his 90s before his nerves again took hold.

    Rogers was glued on 96 for 19 balls, twice almost spooning catches off the leading edge while trying to deflect Swann through the on side against the turn.

    Television cameras captured Rogers unleashing nervous chuckles in the wake of both near-misses.

    He then punted on aggression, sweeping Graeme Swann through square leg to register the boundary which brought up his hundred.

    Rogers’ celebration was notably muted for a man who had waited almost 36 years to notch his first ton in the baggy green.

    A renowned team man, he will be acutely aware that his individual milestone will count for little if Australia do not go on to record their first win of the series.

    Did Shane Watson save his Test career?
    Having lobbied to be reinstated to the top of the order at the expense of Ed Cowan this series, Watson’s career appeared to be hanging by a thread when he was shunted down to number six this match.

    The all-rounder showed signs in the previous Test he had made sound adjustments to his approach with the willow by playing the ball later and tempering his aggression.

    Rather than attempting to impose his will on the accomplished English attack, Watson was circumspect yesterday, showing deserved respect to James Anderson and Broad in particular.

    He did not, however, allow himself to become static and took full advantage of any deliveries which strayed into his hitting zones.

    Perhaps most importantly, Watson shed his over-reliance on striking boundaries, registering just 28 of his 68 runs in fours.

    One of the greatest weaknesses of his game has been his inability to rotate the strike.

    But Watson yesterday nudged 22 singles to demonstrate a marked improvement in his batting strategy.

    Given he arrived at the crease with Australia teetering at 4-76 on a pitch which was suddenly offering significant assistance to the quicks, Watson’s mature innings rates among the finest of his career, which include:

    – 88 versus South Africa at Johannesburg in 2011. Watson and Phil Hughes put on 174 against South Africa’s venomous attack of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Jaques Kallis. Australia famously won that thrilling match with just two wickets in hand.

    – 95 versus England at the WACA in 2010. Watson tamed the rampant English pace battery of James Anderson, Chris Tremlett and Steven Finn in the second dig to help Australia build a match-winning lead of 390.

    – 93 and 120no versus Pakistan at the MCG in 2009. Enjoying the richest vein of form of his career, Watson flayed Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Saeed Ajmal in both innings.

    – 126 versus India at Mohali in 2010. In his most patient innings at Test level, Watson defied the Indian spinners for almost eight hours on a turning deck, scoring at an uncharacteristically slow strike rate of just 37.

    Is Stuart Broad the most unpredictable bowler in Test cricket?
    Prior to castling Michael Clarke for 187 at Old Trafford, England’s fickle quick had gone 55 overs without a wicket against the Aussies.

    Broad, while crafting several useful innings with the bat this series, had failed to fulfil his primary duty with the ball, securing just six wickets at the inflated average of 52 over the first three Tests.

    He had lacked penetration throughout the series, even when he operated with good rhythm at Manchester.

    The lanky Pom started in similarly innocuous fashion yesterday, bowling short of a length on a pitch which demanded a fuller trajectory.

    The first time Broad pitched the ball up on the line of off stump he breached the defences of David Warner who was unsure whether to leave or defend the superb delivery.

    That success seemed to trigger a realisation from Broad who promptly adopted a full length which earned him generous movement off the deck and through the air.

    In a matter of deliveries, he was transformed from a benign trundler to a lethal spearhead.

    Usman Khawaja and Clarke arrived and departed soon after courtesy of Broad’s brilliance.

    He finished that incisive seven-over new ball stint with the figures of 3 for 23.

    Performances like this only serve to highlight what a frustrating cricketer Broad can be.

    He is similar to a small forward in the AFL who kicks six goals one week only to have just a handful of possessions the next.

    Of all the veterans in Test cricket, he has arguably the largest gap between his best and worst performances.

    Ronan O
    Ronan O'Connell

    Ronan O'Connell has been a journalist for well over 13 years, including nine at daily newspapers in WA. He now traverses the world as a travel photojournalist, contributing words and photography to more than 30 magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, The Toronto Star, The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, The Irish Examiner and The Australian Financial Review. Check out his work and follow him on Twitter @ronanoco

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    The Crowd Says (188)

    • August 11th 2013 @ 4:23am
      Frankie Hughes said | August 11th 2013 @ 4:23am | ! Report

      Rogers showed his grit, shame he’s 35 and not 30. He’s the calming influence at the top of the order we need.

      Watson played a very mature innings, shame it’s taken so long for Wato.

      Khawaja has confirmed he’s nothing more than first class standard.

      • August 11th 2013 @ 5:05am
        Nudge said | August 11th 2013 @ 5:05am | ! Report

        I agree frankie khawaja doesn’t look the goods. Great technique but his demeanour looks like he isn’t up to for the fight. He just looks weak striding to the crease and just doesn’t seem to have any authority with his demeanour while he is out there. Would love to see him come good but I think Cowan and Hughes are better options than him

        • August 11th 2013 @ 8:24am
          Beardan Returns said | August 11th 2013 @ 8:24am | ! Report

          Nudge is on the money a bit here. Excellent technique but the results just keep on failing to come. Needs to toughen up a bit. When he comes home, should be made to drink 54 cans of beer and possibly made to grow a moustache to be taken seriously at number 3.

          • August 11th 2013 @ 8:39am
            Frankie Hughes said | August 11th 2013 @ 8:39am | ! Report

            Considering he’s Muslim that seems unlikely…

            • August 11th 2013 @ 8:48am
              Praveen said | August 11th 2013 @ 8:48am | ! Report

              Khawaja top scored in lords, got a howe last game and you guys are already on his back, he will fire in the second innings, unlike Cowan he hasn’t had 19 tests in a row, reserve your judgement till the end of the series

              • August 11th 2013 @ 8:58am
                will said | August 11th 2013 @ 8:58am | ! Report

                Frankie’s comment above gives a clue why some here will always be against him. Pathetic.

              • August 11th 2013 @ 9:06am
                Frankie Hughes said | August 11th 2013 @ 9:06am | ! Report

                Another poster calls for Khawaja smash down a few beers, which is against his beliefs

                And you call me pathetic?

                How does that work?

              • August 11th 2013 @ 9:14am
                Amith said | August 11th 2013 @ 9:14am | ! Report

                I am a big fan of Khawaja but i don’t think we need to bring his sub continent background into question, fo rme its fantastic to see a sub continent player in the Aussie team and something that will be good for us going forward. On Khawaja its simple, he top scored in Lords, got a terrible call last game and didn’t click today but i am sure he will come good for us before the end of the series. Lets give the kid some time as Hughes had(full series against Sri Lanka and India) and Cowan did(19 tests in a row)

              • August 11th 2013 @ 9:19am
                will said | August 11th 2013 @ 9:19am | ! Report

                Sorry Frankie, that wasn’t directed at you, but I can see how it reads that way. Some people are very quick to jump on his smallest lack of success because they don’t see him fitting in to the mythical all Aussie beer spraying legend, and that’s pathetic

              • August 11th 2013 @ 9:28am
                Frankie Hughes said | August 11th 2013 @ 9:28am | ! Report

                No sweat mate

                Whilst I’m not a Khawaja fan, i think he’s 12/18 months away from being a fine Test number 3.

              • August 11th 2013 @ 9:38am
                Ken Hambling said | August 11th 2013 @ 9:38am | ! Report

                Hi guys from Newcastle guys, enjoying the test match here, fantastic day of cricket. On Khawaja i am a fan of the young man as well but lets cut him slack, he has had a few innings, at least let him finish the series before we critise him, he is a great talent and just needs some luck to go his way, Smith had a few chances in his knock at Manchester, and Rogers had some as well, i don’t think he is far from a big score.As for the talk on his background, i don’t waste my time on it.

              • Columnist

                August 11th 2013 @ 11:54am
                Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 11:54am | ! Report

                I hope Khawaja is at least given another three innings in this series to try to prove himself. The reality is that there is no one better than him back home aged under 30 and we need to build for the future.

              • August 11th 2013 @ 7:53pm
                Ken Hambling said | August 11th 2013 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

                Well said Ronan, its important the likes of Khawaja are given at least a full series as we have given to othre younger players such as Hughes and Cowan as he is a geniune number 3 who can really develop in that position, we will only build world class batsman if we give these young guys a real run.

            • August 11th 2013 @ 8:52am
              anfalicious said | August 11th 2013 @ 8:52am | ! Report

              He may just have to convert to the church of Boon.

              • August 11th 2013 @ 9:05am
                kombiutedriver said | August 11th 2013 @ 9:05am | ! Report

                Ahhhhh ………… Boonie ………..

            • August 11th 2013 @ 10:21am
              kombiutedriver said | August 11th 2013 @ 10:21am | ! Report

              Not about the beer but the banter that comes around the team in the dressing room.
              It’s about establishing team repoire ……… team mates sitting down and talking cricket ……… not on their phones checking social media or whisking themselves away to a WAG ……… they need much more time to get ready (the WAG ….. not the player).

              • Columnist

                August 11th 2013 @ 11:58am
                Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 11:58am | ! Report

                Hahahaha Santo and Sitchy on fire!

          • August 11th 2013 @ 8:58am
            Blocker said | August 11th 2013 @ 8:58am | ! Report


          • August 11th 2013 @ 9:00am
            Blocker said | August 11th 2013 @ 9:00am | ! Report

      • August 11th 2013 @ 11:19am
        davos said | August 11th 2013 @ 11:19am | ! Report

        been saying exctly that for quite a while now Frankie…just looked way out of his depth

        • Columnist

          August 11th 2013 @ 11:59am
          Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 11:59am | ! Report

          He did get a pretty decent though pill davos.

          • August 11th 2013 @ 2:29pm
            Hookin' YT said | August 11th 2013 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

            He played at it then changed his mind. Was missing the pegs. Its his head.

            That howler he got out to when he didn’t hit it was an awful shot, rush of blood. Its in his head.

            He won’t develop the footwork to use against the spinners. Its in his head.

            I think all No3s should start at 5 or 6, hit some tons and work up the order. Great No3s:

            Viv Richards hit his first ton batting 5
            Norm O’Neill hit his first ton batting 4
            Ian Chappell hit his first ton batting 5 (10th test with an average of 19)
            Ricky Ponting hit his first ton batting 6 (7th Test averaging 33)
            Don Bradman hit his first ton batting 6
            Neil Harvey hit his first ton batting 5 .

    • August 11th 2013 @ 4:29am
      Johnno said | August 11th 2013 @ 4:29am | ! Report

      Good stuff Chris Rogers. Finally he has been given a real chance in the test team, and grabbed his opportunity, and showed what a good player he is, and all the shield fans knew what a good a cricketer he was. Pity the selectors don’t know unlike the rest of they aussy population who actually watch the shield. Cricket Australia, and the selectors ignore the shield, and forgot for too long what a gem this bloke was. Sacrilige for how he has been treated, and I will add Brad Hodge to the list, to of victims treated badly over the years, like Katich and Rogers. Hodge wanted to make himself available for the ASHES but Victorian cricket and cricket Australia zero’s interest and his chances.

      Hodge would still be better than Warner,Watson,Khawaja, as would Katich who hasn’t retired from international cricket carving up in county cricket.
      Great century for the true believers, and Chris Rogers put some pride back in the baggy green, a real test player, Alan Border,Steve Waugh style, none of this T20 bubble gum Gen X.Y.Z, modern garbage, that silly young people like today, over the purist and real form of cricket. One thing the baby boomers get right now, they have good taste in the format of cricket.

      Chris Rogers did well, and he helped Watto today to, dig in and roll his sleeves up and pass 50.
      This England side is overrated, and brittle. And aussies 2-1 if rain didn’t stop them would have this England side on the rack.
      Anderson, has been average since the 1st test, and when you look at all time records it’s obvious in all the statistics Dale Steyn is a better bowler. Mike Kasprowtiz, is better than Tim Bresnan any day of the week, I’d even say Andy Bichel would be better than Bresnan. Graham Swan is class. I would of if i was England played Graham Onions here on his home ground where he has a classy record. Australia dogged a bullet there, Andy Flower, selection mistake there.

      If Ryan Harris can stay fit, and James Pattison can get fit again by December, and Pat Cummins gets his groove back now he is injury free, and Rogers, and say a steve smith kick on, we can beat this england mob at home. And sort out the wicket-keeper problems, we need a real wicket keeper, I’m looking at you Chris Hartley or Tim Paine. And if Ahmed keeps his form up.

      We can win this test and, this will be a series of what if’s for the aussies, crucial DRS decisions at crucial times, of the series, and unlucky no-ball with Siddle and Bairstow, and the rain at old Trafford.

      Australia’s test to lose now. They will be hungry to draw the series, really rip into the confidence of England, gonna be a cracking series in OZ, can’t wait, who said back to back ASHES were boring.

      • Columnist

        August 11th 2013 @ 12:02pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

        Question now Johnno is how long can Rogers play for? 18 months? Two years? It’s very hard to imagine him playing past the age of 38.

        • August 11th 2013 @ 2:33pm
          Hookin' YT said | August 11th 2013 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

          Until Silk, Maddinson etc are ready. Warner is the problem.

          • Columnist

            August 11th 2013 @ 3:15pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

            Aus will be happy if they can get two solid home summers out of Rogers. By that point Silk and Maddinson should have an extra 25+ first-class games under their belt and hopefully be ready to be blooded.

    • August 11th 2013 @ 4:50am
      Nudge said | August 11th 2013 @ 4:50am | ! Report

      Aussies still need another 100 at the very very least. Us chasing more than 150 is still a big worry. Great work Rogers and Watson. England have had by far the best of the conditions so far. Cook seems like an extremely poor captain from what I’ve seen

      • August 11th 2013 @ 8:26am
        Beardan Returns said | August 11th 2013 @ 8:26am | ! Report

        Another 100 would be very handy. Dont want to chase too many with this unproven top order and a mysterious pitch. Not realyl sure how it will play on day 4 and 5.

        • Columnist

          August 11th 2013 @ 3:18pm
          Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

          Yep a chase of anything over 150 is going to be nerve wracking.

    • August 11th 2013 @ 5:11am
      buddha9 said | August 11th 2013 @ 5:11am | ! Report

      You guys should stop whinging so much — you think you’re experts but actually there’s a reason you’re on this side of the fence its because you don’t know a lot — I’m not going to criticise any batsman for getting out against that bowling, on that wicket — Rodgers had some luck, the others didn’t and that’s about the top and bottom of it — Warner and Khawaja got good balls they had to play — Clarke and Smith played a bad shots but on the wicket no one was ever really in and its a credit to the TEAM that someone stood up because basically the way the wicket was and the way Broad was bowling they could have been bowled out for 90 easily.
      As it is they’re well in the game — and as for those who like to single out Khawaja, sure he needs some runs but he’s not the only one and I wonder if he’d be as singled out if his name was bob harris?

      • August 11th 2013 @ 5:22am
        Johnno said | August 11th 2013 @ 5:22am | ! Report

        Cowan,Warner,Watson,Hughes,Haddin have all been ripped into as well when they fail.

        • August 11th 2013 @ 6:38am
          buddha9 said | August 11th 2013 @ 6:38am | ! Report

          its true — afterwards i thought no, you lot would attack anyone

          • August 11th 2013 @ 8:28am
            Beardan Returns said | August 11th 2013 @ 8:28am | ! Report

            You see buddha9, in Australia, you are allowed to have an opinion. Maybe you should move to Yemen. If Khawaja is failing, people are allowed to have a dig. If your post is foolish, people may tell you so. Your post is foolish.

          • August 11th 2013 @ 9:40am
            Ken Hambling said | August 11th 2013 @ 9:40am | ! Report

            Buddah no doubt he gets attacked more then most folks, but i am hopeful he will fire in the remaining inning and game to follow.

            • Columnist

              August 11th 2013 @ 12:11pm
              Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

              Unlike say Cowan, Khawaja has never been given a decent run at it. Sometimes you just need a real stroke of luck to make that breakthrough innings. Look at Root, had he not been handed that ridiculous reprieve by Haddin at Lords he’d be averaging 14 for the series. Instead he went on and made a big ton and cemented his position.

              • August 11th 2013 @ 7:38pm
                buddha9 said | August 11th 2013 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

                good point

              • August 11th 2013 @ 7:54pm
                Ken Hambling said | August 11th 2013 @ 7:54pm | ! Report

                Great point Ronan, this is really the first time Khawaja is playing more then 2 games in a row, and all credit to boof and Clarke for giving these younger batsman a real chance to succeed.

            • August 11th 2013 @ 1:42pm
              Brendon said | August 11th 2013 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

              You’re kidding aren’t you Ken….get’s attacked more than most? By who? He’s the only bloke in the country that has his own army, as in the “Khwarmy army” which I believe Praveen is the president and you’re the VP, he’s not performing and people have pointed that out, it’s a sports blog site so that makes sense.

              For the record, he doesn’t look confidant, but I’d say his treatment under the Arthur regime has a lot to do with that, for that reason alone he needs to play the rest of the series, if he doesn’t perform, then it’s back to shield get some time in the middle, runs under the belt and put himself in contention for the first Aussie test, without a score in the final three innings over in the UK, his spot unfortunately is up for grabs, his destiny is in his own hands.

              No doubt he can play shots but half the game’s between your ears.

              • Columnist

                August 11th 2013 @ 6:13pm
                Ryan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

              • August 11th 2013 @ 7:56pm
                Ken Hambling said | August 11th 2013 @ 7:56pm | ! Report

                Fair point Brendon, just keep in mind though that Cowan had 19 tests in a row, Hughes 2 full series, so surely we can give him a full series to see what he has got.

              • Columnist

                August 11th 2013 @ 10:06pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 10:06pm | ! Report

                Cowan was given as good a run as any player could hope to get. He teased with his ability to weather the new ball but never translated that into the scores you’d expect.

      • August 11th 2013 @ 6:13am
        Peeeko said | August 11th 2013 @ 6:13am | ! Report

        I think it’s pretty insulting that you are suggesting that Usman is getting harsh treatment because he isn’t “bob Harris” if anything he is the most popular cricketer on the roar.

      • August 11th 2013 @ 7:56am
        mickh said | August 11th 2013 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        There’s one person whinging here Budda, and thats you.

        You’re the only one brining his heritage into any debate over Khawaja. He’s as Aussie as they come and everyone in Australia wants nothing but for him to succeed.

        Give it a rest, you’re embarrassing yourself.

        • August 11th 2013 @ 8:50am
          Praveen said | August 11th 2013 @ 8:50am | ! Report

          UTK will succed before the series ends

          • August 11th 2013 @ 9:10am
            mickh said | August 11th 2013 @ 9:10am | ! Report

            Lets hope so. I think he’s played some good cricket on this tour, albeit inconsistent.

            • August 11th 2013 @ 9:15am
              Amith said | August 11th 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

              We all hope he will, just give him time, he has something special about him.

            • August 11th 2013 @ 9:41am
              Ken Hambling said | August 11th 2013 @ 9:41am | ! Report

              He is too good not to fire for us

              • Columnist

                August 11th 2013 @ 12:12pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

                I just hope the Aussie selectors are patient with him and don’t expect miracles in the short term.

      • August 11th 2013 @ 8:58am
        anfalicious said | August 11th 2013 @ 8:58am | ! Report

        I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised to have not yet heard any sort of racism directed at Khuwaja. I’m a fan, but he needs to go back to shield to get his groove back. He’s got the goods, just not the head for it yet.

      • August 11th 2013 @ 2:35pm
        Hookin' YT said | August 11th 2013 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

        “Khawaja got good balls they had to play”

        Bull. He could have left it.

        • Columnist

          August 11th 2013 @ 4:10pm
          Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

          Shunting guys in and out of the team does nothing for their development. Khawaja has proven himself as much as anyone at State level now it’s time to give him a decent run in the side to determine once and for all if he has what it takes at Test level.

          So far he’s had 5 innings this series and among that were a very good fifty, the worst decision we’ve seen and a wicket lost chasing quick runs at Manchester. So he’s had two proper failures out of 5 innings by my reckoning. Hardly grounds for sending him back to the Shield yet again only to replace him with someone of, at best, equal pedigree.

          • August 11th 2013 @ 4:36pm
            Hookin' YT said | August 11th 2013 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

            Bat him at 5 until he averages over 40 with a few 100s.

            • Columnist

              August 11th 2013 @ 6:29pm
              Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

              I’d have no issue with that.

            • August 11th 2013 @ 7:45pm
              buddha9 said | August 11th 2013 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

              now thats a good idea but it can’t be done unfortunately — look i can see why people got upset by my comment — fair enough it wasn’t the smartest thing I ever said — so i’ll suck me head in and we’ll see how it goes — of course he needs some runs and he can’t stay in the team if he doesn’t get them — but i feel people leap on his back pretty quick as Ronan says his record is ok without being sensational — i also kind of agree with Brendon that he doesn’t carry himself to the wicket that well — to me that’s part of the difficulty he has being thrown in at 3 without being given an apprenticeship down the order like almost all 3’s have been — still he took it on , more power to him for doing that, but he has to produce. I’m also confident he will before the end of the series.

            • August 11th 2013 @ 7:57pm
              Ken Hambling said | August 11th 2013 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

              Best to leave the classy leftie at 3 as he will face more of Swann at 5 which won’t help

              • Columnist

                August 11th 2013 @ 10:06pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 10:06pm | ! Report

                He hasn’t looked great against Swann has he?

    • August 11th 2013 @ 5:36am
      WherethebloodyhellRya said | August 11th 2013 @ 5:36am | ! Report

      Thank you and well done on the superb article Ronan.
      The quality insights that you provided on Rogers, Watson and Broad respectively were very good.

      It is ironic from an Australian perspective that the team orientated, courageous and tough Rogers had only played 1 test for Australia prior to this series, yet Watson who is more reknown for his selfish, it’s all about me MO continues to get a cap despite a prolonged run pf batting failures.

      Watson’s recent inability(excepting of course for his 68 yesterday) to graft out a big score has been reflected in his batting stats which reveal numerous starts that he has failed to convert to 50s or 100s.
      The partnership Rogers and Watson put together yesterday was critical for Australia and has them in the drivers seat for today. If either or both had lost their wickets cheaply or to the early very difficult attack they faced, England could have secured the whip-hand and Australia a third test defeat.
      Watson may finally be getting the message that it is very rewarding if you bat to suit what your team requires, rather than in a selfish, irresponsible and reckless manner.

      A champion team will always beat a team of champions.

      Despite his mature age, Chris Rogers boasts character traits that are worth their weight in gold to any test batsman, is a model example of what a team player is and should have at least five good years in him. (And possibly 10 years if you ask Bobby Simson).

      Australia to make 337 to lead by 99, and England to be 4 for 87 at stumps on Day 2.

      • August 11th 2013 @ 11:45am
        davos said | August 11th 2013 @ 11:45am | ! Report

        haven’t heard too many nongs calling for Roger’s head just lately ….like they were early in the series when he copped a couple of very ordinary decisions…it was obvious from the get go that given a slice of luck the guy had the technique skill and mindset to score runs against the poms in English conditions ….I have been very critical of watso …but credit where due that was a much better knock from the walking ego …it was almost as if he was batting for the team last night …..and in a batting posn more suited to his allrounder status…maybe he should just forget about telling evryone where he should bat and coveting other blokes posn’s…concentrate more on whats good for the side , staying fit and chiping in with a few wickets as well

        • Columnist

          August 11th 2013 @ 12:17pm
          Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

          Thanks Wherethebloodyhellarya. Rogers is a very fine role model for the younger guys given through who can see that, despite not being a hugely gifted batsman, his tenacity, desire and patience have enabled him to become a brilliant first-class batsman.

    • August 11th 2013 @ 5:46am
      WherethebloodyhellRya said | August 11th 2013 @ 5:46am | ! Report

      Ronan, you mention that you’re currently traveling the world and good luck to you. Which country are you viewing the Ashes series from?

      • Columnist

        August 11th 2013 @ 12:18pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | August 11th 2013 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

        Haha your user name asks the question itself! I’m based in Thailand for the Ashes mate.

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