“There’s nothing better than feeling wanted; and there’s nothing worse than feeling unwanted.” – UNKNOWN
With summer now actually here, by the calendar at least, the disjointed cricket schedule has been further weighed down by the plethora of books released from every direction. Many are very good judging from initial excerpts. The Santa order is in.
Amongst these publications has been the well regarded Chris Rogers, Bucking The Trend. A rather apt title for one who could have easily been a member of the one test only club (Stuart Law, Phil Emery, Matthew Nicholson, Bryce McGain, Dan Cullen, Roy Park et al) who through the sheer weight of performance and consistency found the door open for the 2013 Ashes.
During the recent weeks, the Hobart 85 debacle where “decision-making around the Australian team has lost its envied clarity” gave cause to many suggested remedies.
During the Hobart Test, Pat Howard sent out an SOS via press conference on a rained out Sunday, “for advice on how to scotch the bleeding of the Test team’s currently hapless top six.” A rather peculiar message in timing and context based on the conversation between Rogers and Gerard Whateley live on ABC Grandstand that immediately followed.
Described by Cricbuzz, the left-handed opening batsman is a typical Test opener. He doesn’t have the flashy, aggressive or eye-catching game, but his patience, grit and self-confidence makes him stand out.
In addition to this astute observation is that Rogers, if anything, is far from a product of the Australian system. His craft, skills and resilience constructed from repeated seasons in the English county system at Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Middlesex (plus a season at Somerset following his retirement from test cricket). A balance from a bygone era that has faded with the cluttered schedule.
A current national level selector, harbored a view of Rogers in 2012/13, that he was more likely to be active in club cricket as a talented junior was set to usurp him in Sheffield Shield ranks for the Bushrangers. That talented junior is now playing club cricket, while Rogers went onto a distinguished test career of 25 matches with 2015 runs at 42. The selector is still employed and making decisions on the future of many. Hopefully he has learned from this obfuscation in judgement.
This involvement at development level has occurred before. A valuable indicator of an ingrained willingness to adapt and share wisdom without searching for a profile. Not unlike the patience and grit that has served the baggy green so well. Qualities to be somehow inserted properly into the system.
A busy time for Bucky ahead it would seem.