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Chris Rogers: Career Highlights

Neither colour blindness nor age stopped Chris Rogers from chasing his dreams as his calm presence at the top would be certainly missed by Australia, especially by his opening partner David Warner.

Rogers  celebrates after reaching his century during 2nd ?Ashes Test match
 

One of the most important thing in life is to achieve those things which other people think you can't and then when one not only achieves them but also succeeds, it becomes a great success story.

The career of Australian veteran opening batsman Chris Rogers is a similar story where he made his debut at the age of 30 against India at Perth in 2008, to be dropped and ignored by selectors for five and half long years. But, Rogers’s never say die attitude kept him pushing and with tons of first-class runs and no settled openers for Australia, selectors had no other option but to recall 35-year old Rogers for the away Ashes Series in July 2013. Learning from previous mistakes, Rogers grabbed this opportunity with both hands and never looked back from then on and now stands at the end of short but successful Test Career as he plans to retire at the end of 5th Test of the ongoing Ashes series at Oval.

Debut

Matthew Hayden’s hamstring injury paved the way for Chris Rogers to make his debut on 16 January 2008 against India on his home ground at WACA, Perth. Rogers had a disappointing debut as he contributed only 4 and 15 with the bat and Australia lost the Test by 72 runs.

Rogers’s dismal show with the bat and with Hayden getting fit in time for 4th Test at Adelaide saw Rogers being dropped and he had to wait for another five and half long years to earn his second Test cap.

Rogers’s Second Coming: Back to Back Ashes, 2013 & 2013-14

With problems at the top, Australian selectors preferred experience over young blood and Chris Rogers, at the age of 35 made the cut for England trip as Australia were keen to regain the Ashes. With just couple of fifties in three Tests, Rogers was having an ordinary series till Manchester Test and then came his moment, the moment he thought would never come as he brought up his maiden Test hundred in the fourth Test at Chester-le-street amidst difficult times.

His innings was full of character, grit and determination as he repaid the faith of selectors and showed everyone that he certainly belonged to this level. However, Australia’s hopes of regaining the Ashes remained as a distant dream as England won the Ashes 3-0.

Series Stats:

Matches

Innings

Runs

Average

50

100

5

9

367

40.77

2

1

Performances in England helped Rogers to keep his place in the side intact for the Ashes series down under as Australia were desperate to end the drought by winning the first Test of the year.

Rogers, similar to Ashes series in England, managed just couple of the fifties from first three Tests, but, the boxing day Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground proved to be the biggest turning point as far as his Test career was concerned.

Rogers scored gritty 61 runs in the first innings and brilliant 116 in the second innings as he lead Aussies to a dominant 8-wicket victory over England and gave them an unassailable 4-0 lead in the 5-match series. Second Test hundred paved the way for third as Rogers struck fabulous 119 at Sydney to complete demolition as Australia humiliated England with a 5-0 whitewash, last Test lasting barely for 3 days.

By the end of Ashes Series down under, Chris Rogers was already a hero and his method and technique though old and ugly was well appreciated within the cricket fraternity.

Series Stats:

Matches

Innings

Runs

Average

50

100

5

10

463

46.30

3

2

Against South Africa in South Africa, Feb-Mar 2014

The series against South Africa was a tough one for Chris Rogers as he was close to being dropped from the side. With the scores of 4, 1 & 5 from three previous innings and with a daunting target of 448 runs against quality South African attack, Rogers was under enormous pressure in 2nd innings of 2nd Test.

But, Test Cricket is not for the weakened heart and Chris Rogers stood tall with a gutsy 107 as all other chips fell all around him. His 107 was in vain though as Australia lost the match badly, but, he showed everyone that he is a big match player and had the temperament to rise to the occasion especially, when his team needed him the most.

Australia won the 3-match series 2-1.

Series Stats:

Matches

Innings

Runs

Average

50

100

3

6

181

30.16

0

1

Against Pakistan in UAE, Oct-Nov 2014

Chris Rogers, just like the majority of his other team-mates had a disappointing series with the bat. Rogers scored 38 and 43 in the first Test while barely managed 5 & 2 in the second Test as Australia got hammered 2-0.

Series Stats:

Matches

Innings

Runs

Average

50

100

2

4

88

22

0

0

Against India at Home, Dec-Jan 2014-15

With disastrous series against Pakistan and being at the wrong side of his age, Chris Rogers’s place in the side was in doubt for the home series against India. However, with his hundred for Victoria against South Australia, he impressed the selectors once again and managed to keep his place in the side.

He had an ordinary first Test at Adelaide as he scored only 9 & 21. But, the bad days were behind him and Rogers hit six fifties in as many innings from the next three Tests and became the Mr. Consistent for Australia.

Rogers narrowly missed out on his hundred in the 4th Test at SCG as he was bowled for 95. Rogers had a good summer with the bat as Australia clinched Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 2-0 win and slowly, but surely the nation was coming out of Hughes’s tragic death incidence that left the entire cricketing world shell-shocked just at the start of summer.

Series Stats:

Matches

Innings

Runs

Average

50

100

4

8

417

52.12

6

0

Chris Rogers missed a two-match series against West Indies in June 2015 in the Caribbean due to a concussion.

Farewell Series, Ashes, England 2015:

Rogers was making a comeback after the concussion and had already announced that Ashes series would be his last international assignment. Rogers started off the series well with a patient 95, but Australia’s batting failure in both the innings saw them lose the first Test at Cardiff by 169 runs.

In the 2nd Test at Lord’s, probably came the proudest moment for Chris Rogers as he struck magnificent 173 at his second home ground and Australia annihilated England by 405 runs to square the series.

Chris Rogers’s 52 in the first innings at Birmingham was the only thing for Australia to cheer about as James Anderson’s six-for crushed Australia for mere 136. Rogers’s innings was all about skill, application and temperament as he batted along focusing on his job, forgetting all the chaos that was happening all around him.

Rogers hit another fifty in 2nd innings of 4th Test, but, that wasn’t enough as Australia were comprehensively beaten in both 3rd and 4th Test, thanks to collective batting failure.

Rogers, Warner and Smith were the only Australian batsmen who looked who could score some runs. In the ongoing Oval Test, his final one, Chris Rogers scored 43 in the first innings and let’s hope he scores some more runs in his final innings and bows out of International cricket with a victory against his name.

Series Stats:

Matches

Innings

Runs

Average

50

100

5*

9

480

60

3

1

Career Stats:

Matches

Innings

Runs

HS

Average

50

100

25*

48

2015

173

42.87

14

5

* indicates ongoing Test Match

Chris Rogers’s career is an inspirational story not only for budding cricketers but also for senior sportspersons who are passionate about their game and are willing to put the hard work at each and every stage of their career. Neither his colour blindness nor his age stopped him from chasing his dreams as his calm presence at the top would be certainly missed by Australia, especially by his opening partner David Warner.

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