Rogers targets England’s weak spots


Published: Tuesday 13th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Australia batsman Chris Rogers has fired an early Ashes warning shot across England’s bows.

The flagship Test series may be six months away, with a Tri-Series involving both sides and a World Cup taking precedence for the time being, but the psychological battle is never far away.

Veteran opener Rogers is not involved in Australia’s one-day plans and, at 37, expects the summer tour to be his last.

He captains the Prime Minister’s XI against England in a 50-over warm-up match in Canberra on Wednesday, but is already setting his sights on the old enemy’s weak spots.

And Rogers believes England’s issues start right at the top, with captain Alastair Cook looking to bounce back from his World Cup axing.

“They might be improving but they are not near the highs they were a few years back and there are still a few guys under pressure in that side,” said Rogers

“There are a few holes for us and hopefully we can make the most of it.

“The opening partnership is far from settled and that is going to be crucial if we bowl well and make inroads.

“Sam Robson is under a bit of pressure at the top, as is Alastair Cook too I think.

“Alastair is under a lot of pressure and he needs to be leading from the front, particularly when you’ve got a young opener with you. So there’s definitely some good signs for us.”

Rogers, who knows Australia-born Robson well from their time together at Middlesex, also suggested the 25-year-old’s seven Tests with England last summer may not have been good for his game.

“I actually think he came back [to Middlesex] with a different technique to when he went into the side,” said Rogers.

“A few things crept into his game that he should have been helped with but he wasn’t and that was interesting.”

Rogers’ critique of Peter Moores’ side also stretched to the seam attack and the struggles of another county colleague from Lord’s, Steven Finn.

“The opening bowlers are particularly good but after that no-one has really nailed their spot,” he added.

“I think there is a lot of talent there but they haven’t performed as well as they could.

“(Finn) is a big sensitive bloke, you know. I think he felt a lot of the pressure and it got to him a bit and I think his action changed because of it.

“He was working as hard as anyone last year and there were some very good signs but I think he’d probably admit he’s got a long way to go until he reaches his peak.

“But you can never discount someone like that, he’s got every trait to be an excellent fast bowler.”

Published: Tuesday 13th January 2015 by The News Editor

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