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Rogers seeks sunshine after the rain

Worcestershire CCC

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Australian batsman Chris Rogers is eagerly awaiting an improvement in the weather as Middlesex prepare to take on Worcestershire in their fourth LV= County Championship fixture of the campaign.

Rogers, currently deputising as captain at Lord’s following Neil Dexter’s decision to temporarily relinquish leadership duties, has plenty of experience when it comes to early-season conditions in England, having enjoyed stints with Leicestershire and Derbyshire prior to his move to Middlesex.

Yet the left-hander admits he has rarely found run-scoring tougher than in the past few weeks, with surfaces across the country having provided notable assistance for seam bowlers.

Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, Rogers said: “I think it’s been tough for just about every batsman. Particularly the two games we have had at home; it has been exceptionally hard work.

“The wickets have been fairly soft and, with no heavy roller, divots are wreaking havoc.

"It’s tough for everyone and being Australian I guess these conditions are pretty foreign, but everyone has to adapt, it’s not just Australians. Hopefully a couple of us can get a good score this week.”

Although conditions have clearly favoured the bowlers so far this year, a number of batsmen have been criticised for playing without due care and attention.

Rogers, who joked that he will end the season with an average of 20 if the sun does not come out soon, can see the benefits of a positive approach.

Chris Rogers

Batting has proven tricky in the opening weeks of the county season. "It has been exceptionally hard work," said Middlesex's Chris Rogers

“It’s a hard one, because playing early-season you tend to think of playing as late as possible and you play with a tight defence, but it almost seems as though some of the guys who are scoring runs are the guys who are being super-positive and chancing their luck a bit,” he explained.

“Everyone is playing and missing and you need some luck early on, but I think it’s a matter of whatever you do, you’ve just got to believe in it as much as you can and hope that things go your way.”

Middlesex have coped fairly well thus far on their return to Division One and head into this week’s match having recorded one win, one draw and one defeat.

“We know Worcestershire are going to be a very tough team, but we are hopeful that we can get a good result against them,” Rogers added.

“Every game is important at the moment, the quality is exceptional in Division One and any win you can get is going to be helpful towards the end of the season.”

The presence of England duo Andrew Strauss and Steven Finn, who also featured in Middlesex’s drawn encounter against Durham, provides further reason for optimism.

“Straussy is working hard on his game and looks like he is due. He’s played quite well in the nets,” revealed Rogers.

“And to have Finny in your side is just an amazing thing. I know we were only defending 130 against Durham and we had a bit of luck with the weather, but I still think it would have been a mountain to climb for them, the way Steve was bowling in the second innings.

“He’s a guy that can win you games and whenever you have those people it’s massive for the side.”

Rogers remains relaxed about skippering the side, meanwhile, having taken over from Dexter prior to the Durham fixture.

“I think it’s a bit of a week-by-week thing,” he said. “Maybe initially there will be a little bit of a period where Neil can find his feet and just find a bit of relaxation and enjoyment in the game.

“It can be hard work when you are captain and things are on top of you. It’s his job whenever he wants it, so it’s really up to him.”

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