Rogers to open for Oz with Watson in first Ashes Test

Sydney, July 2 (ANI): Australian cricketer Chris Rogers is reportedly set to open the batting for Australia in the Ashes with former vice-captain Shane Watson at Trent Bridge from July 10, leaving Ed Cowan to scrap for another spot in the order.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, new coach Darren Lehmann had announced that Rogers would strike a new opening combination with Watson, adding that the news is a long-awaited reward for Rogers' phenomenal scoring in both Australia and England over the past decade, with almost 20,000 first-class runs.

Stating that the rest of the players are still in the frame, Lehmann said that Rogers has been picked for a reason from the previous selection panel, adding that the batsman had a good summer as captain of the Middlesex county team and got two big hundreds.

Expressing his excitement over his selection, Rogers said that he does not want to be a one Test wonder and hoped to play well, adding that although he had given up hope, with the new selection committee and retirements of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey he expected to come in thinking that the committee would prefer an experienced person.

Stating that his experience of batting in England should help him set a platform for the middle order, while the right-handed Watson could be the more aggressive partner, Rogers said that his job is to score runs and confirm his position in the team.

According to Rogers, he was fortunate that the Ashes selection happened a few months ago as he had been pressurising himself and trying to lift his intensity as much as he could, adding that the Ashes will be much different and a far bigger challenge than any domestic games.

Stating that he will try to lead from the front as an opener in the Ashes like he did as a Middlesex captain, Rogers further said that he hopes to set the game up for the middle order so that they can play expansive games and take the game away from the opposition.

According to the report, Cowan needs to make runs against Worcestershire to play at Trent Bridge and No.3 seems the most natural alternative for the left-hander, who last made a first-class century against South Africa in November.

Suspended batsman David Warner is in contention to bat in the middle order in the Test team, and Lehmann said Usman Khawaja was not out of the reckoning despite being left out for the tour match at New Road. (ANI)

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