Watson-Rogers opening combination comes good in tour match

Melbourne: The new Australian opening combination of former vice captain Shane Watson and batsman Chris Rogers have revitalised their team`s hopes ahead of next week`s first Test at Trent Bridge with an impressive performance in a rain curtailed opening day of the four day match against Worcester.

Watson and Rogers had a successful opening partnership of 170 inside 35overs just a day after new coach Darren Lehmann confirmed the pair would bat at the top of the order in the Test, with Watson smashing a century score of 109 from just 111 balls with 14 fours and two sixes before lunch.

Although Rogers was dismissed for a 75 scored in 127 balls with 12 fours, Watson`s brutal innings on Monday followed his 90 in Australia`s previous match against Somerset with the all-rounder celebrating his return as an opening batsman.

A star in short form cricket, Watson was in full flight, charging his move back up the order, driving and cutting strongly, while Rogers continued the exceptional form he had displayed with Middlesex earlier in the English season, adding that the veteran batsman is the leading scorer in division one of county cricket with 790 runs including two big hundreds.

It was just Watson`s 18th century in 114 first class matches and his first in 51 innings going back almost three years to his 126 in a Test against India at Mohali.

The top four batsmen all passing 50 as Australia made 4-340 in the match against a modest opposition has set an optimistic tone for the first Test despite continuing fears about how the batting in the post Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey era would stand up on this tour after the recent disaster of India, where Australia lost 4-0.