Aussies out to impress in tour opener

There were no monster scores or game-saving knocks, but Shaun Marsh impressed Chris Rogers in the West Indies.

Marsh filled in at the top of the order in the Caribbean, where Rogers missed both Tests due to concussion.

“I know he’s a fantastic player and he was asked to do a job and did a good job,” Rogers said.

“I think it was particularly tough with the new ball over in the West Indies.

“It’s going to be tough and I’m going to have to earn my place back.”

National selectors will have to leave one of Rogers, Marsh and Adam Voges on the sidelines on July 8 when the first Ashes Test starts in Cardiff.

Rod Marsh is unlikely to base his decision on a pair of tour games, but equally the chief selector is on deck and a big score can only help.

To make matters more interesting, Marsh and Rogers will open the batting in Australia’s opening tour game, with David Warner rested from the four-day clash with Kent that starts in Canterbury at 8pm (AEST) on Thursday.

Rogers, who has made a century at St Lawrence Ground, was hoping to bank some quality time in the middle there.

“It’ll keep pretty low and there will be a bit of turn. It usually gets worn here,” he said of the pitch.

“But I think it’s not a bad place to bat either, hopefully we get some really good practice.

“But we’ll play to win and play hard.”

Voges, offspinner Nathan Lyon and young pace aces Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will have to wait until next week for their first hit-out in English conditions.

Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and legspinner Fawad Ahmed will make-up the bowling attack against Kent.

The selectors’ other conundrum before the first Test is settling on which three pacemen belong in the first-choice pace attack.

“That’s going to be a very tough call for the selectors,” Rogers said.

“That’s the great thing about our squad, we’ve got depth and a lot of blokes with confidence.

“Which is probably a little bit different to where we were last time we were here.”

Australia XI for tour game v Kent: Chris Rogers, Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Mitch Marsh, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Fawad Ahmed

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