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Chris Rogers - an invaluable asset

A piece about the unsung hero of recent Australian Comeback Chris Bucky Rogers.

Rogers will retire after the remaining Ashes Test 

A 37-year old cricketer with short-sightedness and color blindness having made just one Test appearance in the baggy green at the age of 31 was bound to go out of the cricketing scene unnoticed. But hailed as the opener to replace Justin Langer, Chris Rogers made a Test comeback at the age of 35 in the 2013 Ashes Series held in England.

'Bucky' as he is known among his teammates, made 367 runs, third highest for his team. But with David Warner at the other end for Aussies, it is a sight of immense pleasure to watch someone with Rogers' class, his compact attitude, yet his devastating approach towards the bowler, battling it out at the other end.

Now 37, he announced his retirement from the Test arena after the ongoing Ashes series. But when you look at his career and stats, though he averages around 40, the number of Test he played doesn't do him any justice as a player.

After the era of Mathew Hayden and Langer, Aussies went on to experiment with a lot of players at the opening slot, some paying them back with runs and some fading away eventually. In this, we can say Rogers was at a loss. If you have a look at the list of players who made it to the international scene in their late 20s and early 30s, you would be amazed as to how many phenomenal players make that list.

Michael Hussey would be the first to make that list with Graeme Swann and Jonathan Trott would make it too. A player with color blindness might find it difficult to make it in the ODIs and rightly so, Rogers never made it into the ODI team. But his hard work and determination certainly earned him accolades in the Test team.

If Australia had shown the same trust that they have shown in Shane Watson for so many years, Rogers would have been definitely in 'One of the greatest Test batsmen' list of the modern era. Not only he found his feet in the Test arena, he also scored two back to back Ashes tons at the MCG and the SCG in 2013-14 series and ended up being the highest scorer on either sides in the 10 Test matches played during the back-to-back Ashes.

He was never a flashy player but on any given day he can score quickly and get away with a ton before you notice. But at the same time he can put his head down and just bat it out if he has to as we saw in that Chester-le-street ton in the 2013 Ashes under bad light.

But the question is will we ever see the likes of Chris Rogers again in Test cricket. A gritty cricketer with old-fashioned technique, these athletes are hard to come by these days. With the ever-increasing T20 leagues around the world, a player like Chris Rogers doesn't fit into the system that easy. But if nurtured at the right age, a player with such a technique could do wonders once he breaks onto the international scene.

Who replaces Bucky as the opener for Aussies is still a question, you could have long debates on. Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja to name a few are still in contention. But whoever replaces him, it will be difficult to fill his boots for a few years, at least.

Career statistics for Chris Rogers

 
Matches
Innings
NO
Runs
HS
Average
BF
SR
100s
50s
4s
6s
Tests
23
45
1
1920
173
43.63
3796
50.57
5
13
251
1
FC
295
526
38
24365
319
49.92
 
 
73
115
 
 
List A
167
160
15
5346
140
36.86
 
 
5
36
 
 
T20
43
37
1
627
58
17.41
547
114.62
0
3
65
14
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