Rogers hails special Lord’s century

As he raised his arms in triumph, pointed towards the dressing room and celebrated his fifth Test century, the thought must have gone through Chris Rogers’ mind: “Have I pulled the pin too early?”

There’s no denying Rogers, who will turn 38 next month, is very much nearing the end of the line when it comes to his cricket career.

In May he flagged the Ashes as his final stop, declaring he wouldn’t be boarding any flights to Bangladesh for Australia’s two-Test series in October.

After scoring a career-best 158 not out on Thursday, part of Australia’s intimidating day-one score of 1-337, Rogers seemed to soften on his previously steadfast stance.

“I actually read an article in (UK newspaper) The Times (which said) people think you get older and you don’t know it is time to retire,” he said.

“And I feel I can still contribute to this side and make a difference, and that kind of spurred me on.

“I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but I just really want to make this count and it is a special series to be a part of. Let’s just get through it and I will probably make a decision then.”

Having carried Australia’s hopes in Cardiff with his first-innings 95 forming the spine of the tourists’ 308, Rogers backed up with a confident, composed and crucial knock at Lord’s.

Certainly, Australia will miss his patience and poise.

Through nicks, nudges and nurdles, Rogers is able to grind through the trickiest of spells and slowly accumulate his runs.

Rogers notched his eighth half century in nine innings off 95 balls before going on to reach three figures and ensure his name would be etched on the Lord’s honours board.

It was made extra special by being the ground of Rogers’ county team, Middlesex, on what is effectively his home ground away from home – a point Australian Test great Steve Waugh reminded him of before play.

“It is just something I can be so proud of,” he said.

“I have scored a 100 at the MCG, a 100 at the SCG, and for me to get one at the Lord’s was kind of the trifecta”.

“It’s so special, I have got so many friends here, so many great memories and call it home.”

It was an innings of typical graft from the unfashionable Rogers, occasionally interspersed with glorious cover drives, such as the one which took him to 50, and late cuts, like that which brought up the 150-run partnership between him and Smith.

It has been a terrific renaissance for one of Australian cricket’s unlikeliest of heroes, who debuted in 2008 but had to wait until 2013 for his second Test.

And it’s a renaissance coach Darren Lehmann may be trying to convince the bespectacled opener to extend past the end of this series.

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