Australia opener Chris Rogers has urged his team-mates to “stand up” and take some of the pressure off captain Michael Clarke during the Investec Ashes.
Having been troubled by a chronic back problem, Clarke is expected to be fine for the opening Test at Trent Bridge starting on Wednesday, but Rogers remains concerned the physical demands of facing England’s attack may take their toll on the middle-order batsman.
Clarke scored a fluent second-innings century in Ausralia’s final warm-up match at Worcester and Rogers hopes his colleagues do not take that as a sign their captain will regularly dig them out of trouble in Nottingham.
He told reporters: “We can’t leave it all up to Michael. If we’re to win this then the other guys really need to stand up and I think we need 11 contributors out there.
“There’s a role for all of us, particularly in the top order. We know they (England) are going to come hard and they have excellent bowlers.
“Our guys are in good form, though, as we’ve shown over the last few weeks. We’re ready to go and hopefully we’ll have a little bit of luck and put some pressure back on them.”
Middlesex left-hander Rogers empathised with his captain’s injury struggles after watching the New South Wales native train separately, and gingerly, in the nets at Trent Bridge.
“I don’t know if he’s 100 per cent or not but I think he has to manage it,” Rogers added. “I’ve had a bad back too and it’s not the nicest thing.
“Whether he bowls or not, I don’t know, but I think he’ll be alright with his bat and he showed it the other day.
“It’s just not ideal. It becomes a bit restrictive and when you’re facing the likes of Finn, Broad and Anderson you’re going to have to move around a fair bit.
“Hopefully with the work he’s done, he’s ready to go.”
Rogers, a veteran of the county circuit preparing to double his Test cap tally, admits his international team-mates have asked him for inside information on the Trent Bridge wicket - hidden under the covers during training today - and the 35-year-old is happy to help.
“I don’t think it’s a responsibility but I think it’s something I can help the other guys with,” he added.
“Whether it’s talking about the intricacies of the wickets over here or things like the varied bounce or the swing, hopefully I can help the other guys while I’m out there with them.
“I’ve got to be out there for a while to make that happen too.”