Chris Rogers said yesterday that Australia could only benefit from David Warner’s return, even though the opener may have to make way if his fellow left-hander plays in the third Test against England.
Rogers is one of several Australia top order batsmen who have struggled so far in this year’s Ashes, scoring just 89 runs in four innings while England have taken a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Warner, yet to play a Test against England, missed those defeats at Trent Bridge and Lord’s having been suspended in the run-up to the Ashes for punching England’s Joe Root in a Birmingham bar after Australia lost a Champions Trophy match to their arch-rivals last month.
Instead the 26-year-old joined up with the Australia ‘A’ side and bolstered his hopes of a Test recall when the third match of the Ashes starts at Old Trafford on Thursday by making 193 against South Africa A in Pretoria last week.
“David brings a lot of energy to the group. He goes 100mph and it is fantastic to see him get runs,” Rogers told an Old Trafford news conference on Tuesday.
“He is such a destructive player, so if he bats for long, he could put some real pressure on England. He is one of those ones the opposition know they have to get out quickly.
“If he bats for a while he can take the game away like a (Adam) Gilchrist used to do. Hopefully he can do that for us if he does play. “I think they used Davey in the middle order when he played for Australia A — I don’t know if that is what they want to do but maybe it is.”
Warner has also opened in Tests, however, and Rogers did not hide from the fact that he could be dropped to make way for him.
“Darren (Lehmann, Australia coach) said we (Rogers and Shane Watson) were the openers to start but it us up to us to perform and I know if I don’t perform I may not deserve a place in the side,” he told reporters.
Both Rogers and Warner could play in the same side if top-order batsman and part-time leg-spinner Steven Smith fails to recover in time from the stiff back that prevented him from training on Tuesday.
“Steve Smith may have tweaked his back yesterday (Monday) but it’s improved a bit and hopefully he will be all right to train tomorrow (Wednesday),” Rogers said.