Rogers tells Paine to enjoy Ashes: It's just a game!
Chris Rogers wants Tim Paine to just enjoy the Ashes series against England amid criticism over his selection for Australia.
"You have to remember it is just a game." That is the advice from Chris Rogers for Tim Paine as the former Test batsman attempted to ease the pressure on the recalled wicketkeeper after telling the Australian to set his standards low in the Ashes.
Paine will wear the gloves for hosts Australia in the opening Test against Ashes holders England at the Gabba in Brisbane starting Thursday following his shock selection ahead of Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill.
The 32-year-old – who previously contemplated retirement – last donned the baggy green in 2010 but the veteran Tasmanian is back from the Test wilderness, much to the surprise of past players, pundits and fans.
Paine revealed he received advice from Rogers – a veteran of three Ashes series and a four-time centurion against England – who told the gloveman to "expect to get six ducks" with the bat.
Rogers, 40, explained his advice and he offered some more guidance for Paine as he reflected on his 25-Test career, telling Omnisport: "That was some of the best advice I got. It took me a while to comprehend it. But life goes on. You have to remember it's just a game.
"The thing for everyone involved is, the quicker you can deal with the pressure, the better. In the end, you have to remember it is just a game.
"There is a lot of expectation and when you're in the bubble, it almost feels like it's the most important thing in the world. But we all know it's clearly not. It's just a sporting contest. That is why I probably gave him that piece of advice.
"Tim is a great guy. There is a lot to like about him. For the most part, he should enjoy this. You just never know when the journey is going to end. Make the most of it. From my point of view, I look back and I did enjoy it, but I could've enjoyed it even more if I relaxed a bit more."
The return of maligned batsman Shaun Marsh for the eighth time has also raised eyebrows, given his record of just 236 runs at 39.33 in the Sheffield Shield this season.
Rogers believes Marsh, 34, has the talent to silence his critics, he just needs to rectify the mental aspect of his game.
"Shaun brings immense skill. I think the selectors probably went down this path because they felt the one player, at the top of his game, is definitely good enough to not only play a role in the series but to almost dominate," Rogers said.
"He was probably the best young player I ever saw. He hasn't really nailed that spot when he's had the opportunities because he's been dropped a number of times.
"But he is at the back-end of his career. His maturity will be as great as it has been. He has this one great opportunity going to a big series and to prove a lot of people wrong. It's up to him. He definitely has the talent. It's the mental side of the game that he needs to get right over this series."
The one selection that has not sparked criticism is uncapped batsman Cameron Bancroft, who has managed scores of 76 not out, 86 and 228 not out in the Sheffield Shield in 2017.
However, Rogers added: "It's all very good to be getting runs in a Shield game where there's a few hundred people, albeit he knew there was a lot of pressure to perform and get to the Aussie side.
"But to go into an Ashes match, particularly the opening day when there's so much hype and excitement around it, it's easy to get carried away. He just needs to remember what he's been doing well over the last couple of weeks. It's going to be a huge challenge facing James Anderson and Stuart Broad at the Gabba."
"[Playing cricket in an Ashes series] is fun but equally nerve-racking. I can only equate it to being on a rollercoaster," he continued. "The high and the best moments of your life when you do well in these big series, but the lows can be crushing because it's so hard when you're in that bubble.
"The people who can keep their emotions consistent and in check, they're generally the ones who do the best."