Former Australia cricketer Chris Rogers feels managing the fast bowlers in a Test squad is a big challenge.
“The most important thing I learnt as a captain in County cricket is to control the run rate. The ball swings all the way through the 80-over mark in England, so you are always going to get opportunities. It’s not that important to blast teams out. If you just stay in the game, then you will find that you can take 10 wickets. I think that’s the reason why Oz used Siddle,” said Rogers, who is the head coach of the National Performance squad (Australia) that is in the city as part of an exchange programme.
Australia on Tuesday announced its 12-man unit for the second Test at the ‘Home of Cricket’. Pattinson was left out and Rogers batted for the inclusion of Starc, who was on the bench at Edgbaston. “A left-armer at Lord’s would be invaluable because of the slope and I think Australia will bring him in. It’s a blessing for the selectors to have such depth in the squad,” added Rogers.
Slow bowler Lyon came to the fore in the fourth innings of the opener, taking lion’s share (six) of the wickets. The 41-year-old is impressed with the advancements the New South Wales man has made over the past few years. “It’s incredible where he has got to. I have played against him early on in his career. But the amount of improvement he has made is great. There was always a question mark on whether he would win games in the fourth innings of a Test. He is bowling sides out quite well now.”
Rogers, who wore the Baggy Green 25 times during his career, opined the absence of James Anderson will be a huge blow for the home side. “During my days, I was always hoping he would get injured (laughs). He just holds the attack together a little bit. Now, others have to step up. Can’t wait to see what Jofra Archer has up his sleeve. The commanding win in the first Test will put Australia in good stead.”
The developmental squad is hoping to fine-tune its game in spin-friendly conditions during its 19-day stint here, revealed Rogers. “One of the understandings we have is that Australia will play a lot of cricket in the sub-continent in the next three to four years. The players can make some mistakes and learn from them here. We have got a pretty good mix and Ben McDermott is one guy to watch out for,” he added.