POTCHEFSTROOM: Experienced Australia batsman Chris Rogers has been taking advice from fellow opener David Warner about how to face up to the South African bowling attack ahead of the first test in Pretoria.
The left-handed pair will be crucial for Australia in seeing off the new ball on wickets that will give assistance to the home bowlers, with scars still burning from the tourists' capitulation in 2011 when they were bowled out for 47 in Cape Town.
Shane Watson and Phil Hughes opened the innings on that occasion, with Warner's only tests against the Proteas coming in the home series loss in the 2012-13 season when he made a hundred in Adelaide but did not manage another score of substance.
The 36-year-old Rogers admits he is leaning on the experience of his junior partner, despite their contrasting approach to the game.
"We have had a chat, especially being left-handers and openers, and he has given some good feedback. He has some good ideas and hopefully that will help come the first test," Rogers told reporters on Saturday.
"He's not as dumb as he seems to be honest, he is actually quite good to talk to about cricket. He has a lot of good ideas and comes from a different perspective, so we have gelled quite well and that has been excellent."
Rogers and Warner could not be more different in their approach to the game, the former a cautious player who understands his limitations, the latter a swashbuckling free spirit who will take risks to score quickly and unsettle the bowlers.
"When Davey is playing well it makes it easy for me and I can slip into the slipstream a little bit," Rogers said.
"We have our differences, but we also get on very well. It is great to see him do well, it helps the Australian side no end."
Rogers, who made is test debut against India in 2008 but did not play again until the Ashes series in England last year, admits this tour will be his most important yet.
"It's one of those challenges you look forward too. It was a great challenge to take on (England's Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson and now the South African attack is possibly another step up. If I can do well against this attack then I can be pretty proud of the achievement.
"I have seen these guys bowl for years on TV and faced a couple of them, so I think I know what they are going to do. It is all about adapting when you get out there and playing the bowler and the conditions, so I am looking forward to that challenge."
The first test of the three-match series starts in Pretoria from February 12.
(Reporting by Nick Said; editing by Ed Osmond)