Strong at the top
Opening duo have chemistry
“THE grandstand is moving.” It was this comment from a panicked Chris Rogers during his sudden dizzy spell at Lord’s that rattled David Warner, who had come to his aid.
At the start of the London Test, British commentators pushed a rumour that Australia’s opening pair couldn’t stand each other’s company, but in the second innings the duo proved you do not need to always read off the same hymn sheet to share a tight bond.
When the openers brought up their latest 100- run stand, Warner extended a hand to ‘‘ Buck’’ Rogers in the middle and implored the veteran to reconsider his retirement plans.
Then in the second over the next morning when Rogers, who has a history of concussion, went wobbly on his feet, Warner brought calm to a potentially alarming situation until medical help arrived.
“That was bizarre. I came down the wicket and I had to look twice because I didn’t really know what was going on and with all the talk of him and me not getting along I thought it was just him not wanting to come and talk to me,” Warner said, before turning serious.
“He actually said to me, ‘ The grandstand is moving’ and I said, ‘ No it’s not’. “I was worried. “I had no idea what was going on and so was he ( worried).
“He said, ‘ I don’t know what’s happening here,’ so I said, ‘ Just sit down’.’’
Tests have cleared Rogers of concussion symptoms at this point, however after missing both Tests in the West Indies after being struck by a bouncer in the nets, this latest incident suffered as a result of being hit by a James Anderson bouncer may still make the 37- year- old think about his long- term health.
Rogers was clear before the series that he would hang up the gloves after it, however he has started the tour with a 95 in Cardiff and 173 at Lord’s.
Warner said he and the man nine years his senior may share little in common off the field, but that Rogers is the best opening partner he has known.
“When we put on the hundred partnership in the second innings I came down the wicket and shook his hand and said, ‘ Mate, you can’t leave me’,” Warner said. “He just laughed. “I would love him to go on but he will know when it’s time.
“It’s quite funny, obviously in Australia we talk about yin and yang, two different people.
“As in, he reads a lot of books and I wouldn’t read a book.
“I have no idea where the ( dislike rumours) have come from, but it doesn’t help when your mates like Brad Haddin stir the porridge a little bit and tell people we actually don’t like each other.”
Because of personal reasons, Haddin missed the last Test, and replacement Peter Nevill starred on debut.
Warner described Haddin as a ‘‘ father figure’’ of the team and said alongside Michael Clarke and Steve Smith, the 37- yearold gloveman remained an important part of the leadership dynamic.
“You look at how many New South Wales players there are in the Australian team, and growing up as a kid playing with Brad in first grade and in the NSW set- up he’s almost like your father figure,” Warner said.
DIZZY SPELL: Chris Rogers is helped as fellow opener David Warner lends support during the second Test at Lord’s.