Boxing Day ton tops Chris Rogers' Christmas list

Australian batsman Chris Rogers Tuesday said he'd love nothing more than an opening-day century in the Boxing Day Test against India, starting Friday.

IANS| Last Updated: Dec 23, 2014, 16:16 PM IST
Boxing Day ton tops Chris Rogers' Christmas list

Melbourne: Australian batsman Chris Rogers Tuesday said he'd love nothing more than an opening-day century in the Boxing Day Test against India, starting Friday.

"To go out and play in a second Boxing Day Test, that's something you dream of and can't take away. Hopefully, I can get a score because I do like playing here. A hundred in a Boxing Day Test, as it was last year, would be as good as it gets," said Rogers 

His first Boxing Day Test against England 12 months ago showed Rogers's willingness to expand his stroke play late in the match; he scored 61 from 171 balls in the first innings as Australia's top and middle order collapsed, before hitting 13 boundaries in a fourth-innings century that secured a comfortable eight-wicket win.

The veteran opener hit his way back into form in Brisbane last week, posting 55 in each innings as Australia won by the second Bank Test by four wickets to claim a 2-0 series lead.

It was the first time the left-hander had passed 50 in five Tests, breathing new life into his dream of a possible Ashes swansong in England next year. 

Rogers struck 10 boundaries in each innings at the Gabba, and his second-innings 55 came off just 57 balls as the hosts motored to their victory target of 128 in just 23.1 overs.

Their attacking mindset was a deliberate ploy on a fourth-day surface that was starting to play tricks, and Rogers said it was a risk worth taking. 

"Those short chases are always a little bit tricky and I think you've got to try and get them done quickly," he said.

"So once the opportunity was there to play a few shots I took it and it fortunately came off. Despite the wobble at the end I always thought we were going to get home. 

Rogers has made a useful habit of saving his best until last in Tests; he's scored two centuries and two fifties in nine fourth innings at an average of just under 50, compared to his overall mark of 35.94.

His finest last-day performance in Test cricket came against South Africa in Port Elizabeth in February, when he defied a reverse swing masterclass from Dale Steyn to score 107 out of Australia's total of 216. 

"Sometimes for an opener (the fourth innings) is the best time (to bat)," Rogers said. 

"The new ball tends to do more at the beginning of the game and then it settles down. I think also it helps when I have a target in mind. I know exactly what I need to do and I can kind of tailor the way I play to what needs to happen.