Strong at the top

Open­ing duo have chem­istry

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - BEN HORNE

“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.

Pic­ture: KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH

DIZZY SPELL: Chris Rogers is helped as fel­low opener David Warner lends sup­port dur­ing the sec­ond Test at Lord’s.

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