Yet despite being Mr Consistent for Western Australia and Victoria in the Sheffield Shield, the 35-year-old has just one cap for the national side.
If he’s overlooked again for the upcoming Ashes series, his international record at his career’s end will read: one Test, 19 runs at an average of 9.5.
His teammates at Middlesex know a different story, though.
Having played impressively for five previous counties, perhaps Rogers’ most significant contribution has been as the captain of Middlesex, who play their first home game of season 2013 at Lord’s this week.
The side’s turn of fortune coincided with the arrival of the Sydney-born journeyman in 2011. First they won promotion to Division One. Last year, they finished third, the club’s best finish since 1995. This year, they’re considered by many to be contenders for the title.
“I’m quite excited about the year,” said Rogers before last week’s season opener at Trent Bridge. “We finished off well last year and showed we’ve got a good side. It’s going to come down now to putting good performances on the board.”
The left-hander would be the last to say, with his plucky, no fuss persona at the crease much the same off it, but a massive part of his young side’s success last year was thanks to him.
Club coach Richard Scott called on his players last week to follow the skipper’s lead after he was the only batsman to make over 1000 runs (a feat he’s achieved six times in county cricket) and average over 40 runs in 2012.
“Chris is a consistent performer, day in, day out, and it’s up to the rest of them to show what they can do,” Scott said.
While flattered, Rogers is sure his back-up is on the way.
“There are a lot of guys developing their game here, and are quite inexperienced,” he tells TNT. “But they’ve all got another year under their belt and if a few can have a big season, and with our pace attack [which includes Tim Murtagh, Toby Roland-Jones, Corey Collymore, Gareth Berg and Steven Finn when he’s not with England], we can do well.”
After 15 years in the top domestic leagues in Australia and England, Rogers has an impressive average a whisker from 50.
Last week, with 50 in the first innings against Nottingham, he passed the 19,000-run mark.
Remarkably, his numbers on Aussie pitches and in England’s County Championship are much the same.
“It’s tough to compare, both have their own challenges,” he says of the ever-present comparison of the two.
“The wickets can be difficult in their own right and they’re always hard cricket. The older guys say Sheffield Shield is harder, but my performances are about the same in both, so it might be on a par now.”
A gun for hire in both countries, the guy nicknamed ‘Buck’ will of course not label one better than the other.
But his form on English soil is impossible for Australia’s selectors to ignore, especially with the national team’s top order at its lowest ebb for decades (Michael Clarke excepted).
The opening two matches of the county season couldn’t be a better challenge for Rogers to confirm his worthiness.
Trent Bridge will host the opening Test of this year’s Ashes on July 10. This Wednesday (April 17) Rogers takes on Derbyshire at Lord’s, the home of cricket and where the second Test is to be played on July 18. Two weeks, two iconic grounds.
“I know I’m very privileged to live my lifestyle,” Rogers admits. “My two home grounds are the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Lord’s … two of the best places to play in the world, whoever you’re playing for.”
While there may be a feeling of injustice that he could retire as a one-Test wonder, Rogers just goes about his business.
When he played against India in 2008, he replaced an injured Matthew Hayden. Rogers gave selectors no choice but to give him a shot when Hayden was ruled out, having scored 1202 Pura Cup runs at 70.71 the season before. But two low scores in the Aussie loss, and he was out. Hayden was fit for the next Test and got 103.
If there’s a sense of unfinished business, though, he doesn’t let on.
If the phone rings to dust off the green cap he barely wore in, he’d “be honoured”, but if not…
“There’s always the thing there that I would have liked to play more Test cricket, but I don’t feel sorry for myself,” he says. “I get to do what lots of people would love to do and I have a huge amount to look forward to this year.”
One reason Rogers is so chipper may be that he escaped the England pre-season.
He tells us “from all reports it was a good one” in the knowledge that while he was playing for the Bushrangers Down Under, his teammates were training in gloves and beanies.
He arrived a week before last week’s season opener against Nottingham (which featured the man he must depose for an Ashes spot, Ed Cowan). And when they played a warm-up match at Northampton, it snowed.
Using a captain’s prerogative to avoid such an absurd situation, he didn’t field.
“It was a friendly, so I didn’t have to,” he laughs. “And I wasn’t too keen to be honest. Batting was as cold as I’ve ever been on a cricket field. Having frozen fingers, even with gloves on – that was another experience to the list.”
Could the next one be a county title or a call to arms from his country? That he’ll be ready is the only guarantee.
County Championship: Middlesex v Derbyshire, April 17-20. Tickets are £16 for day one to three; £5 for day four. Lord’s, NW8 8QN Visit lords.org for more details.
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