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Why cricket needs more players like Chris Rogers

Ayush Sharma
572   //    20 Aug 2015, 19:30 IST
We need more ‘traditional’ players like Rogers

The game of cricket has evolved immensely in the last two decades. The arrival of T-20 cricket combined with the increasingly attacking mindset of players has made the game more quick-paced and result oriented. We are witnessing more and more Test matches producing results and quite a few of them are getting finished before the quota of five days. In the days of ‘Dil-scoops’, ‘Switch hits’ and all the other fancy strokes, an old-fashioned guy like Chris Rogers has managed to carve a niche for himself in this fast paced game.

Aggression is an overrated word

What Chris Rogers has managed to tell the cricket viewers all over the world is that grit and temperament can help wins you more games than ‘aggression’ and ‘dominance’. A bowler like Dale Steyn in full flow, swinging the ball like a banana can make you look lame if you try to dominate him without the technique to play the swinging ball.

Seeing through the tough spells of top quality bowlers gives you the aplomb to dominate the other bowlers, but to see through these tough spells you need to have the grit to survive, even looking unsettled and silly while playing and missing the balls in these tough spells is a trait which is not present in many modern day batsmen.

Grit, determination and temperament, these traits allowed Chris Rogers to succeed in his short but successful Test career. He didn’t have the elegance which most left-handers boast of, but he had the ability to play for long hours. He possessed a crabby technique but still managed to ‘dominate’ the quality attacks, ‘dominate’ and Chris Rogers don’t sound well together but if you score a 173 on a Lords pitch and contribute to the team’s total of 566 thereby setting up a win for your team, ‘dominate’ is surely the right word.

Chris Rogers played a perfect foil for David Warner’s attacking cricket. He never tried to outscore him by playing the outrageous shots. Despite playing a second fiddle to Warner, he managed 1972 runs in 24 test matches with an average of 42.86. This shows you that cricket still has a lot of space for the players who want to play the old-fashioned way of cricket.

Chances will come if you have the determination to fight

Rogers has been a classic case of the ‘never say die’ attitude. He was set to retire with just one Test cap until nearly half a decade later he started his second innings in cricket. Scoring heaps of runs in domestic circuit forced the selectors to pick him despite age being a worrying factor.

In the IPL and even in international cricket we see a lot of players dazzle for a year or two and then vanish in no time. It is the consistent run-scoring which keeps you under the selectors radar than the talent which fizzles out in a short time. It was the runs which Rogers scored in the county cricket which helped him in achieving the success on the English tours. Despite the abysmal performance of Australia on both tours, he has scored 804 runs in the nine Test matches in England at an exceptional average of 50.25. It does take a lot of effort to look effortless.

Chris Rogers will always be an inspiration to the players with limited talent but the zeal to fight and slog for their spot in the team. His numbers are equally good with some of the most talented players to have graced the game of cricket. Cricket will surely be a better game with players like Chris Rogers, their qualities will rub on their teammates and inspire them to achieve greater heights against all odds.

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