Rogers, Marsh star in Ashes tour game

Shaun Marsh crafted a fine century, while Chris Rogers looked every bit as comfortable on day one of Australia’s opening tour game in England.

The visitors reached 1-236 at tea in Canterbury on Thursday, with Marsh unbeaten on 114 and Rogers falling 16 runs short of his 73rd first-class ton.

National selectors face two quandaries before the Ashes start in Cardiff on July 8 – who should partner David Warner at the top of the order and which three quicks to pick.

The four-day clash with Kent is supposed to help, especially with the former.

Warner was rested, giving both candidates a chance to impress at the top of the order.

Both did exactly that.

Rogers provided the only chance of the morning session while on 21, but the edge was put down by the slips cordon.

The 37-year-old was otherwise excellent, driving with aplomb and adopting the role of chief aggressor in the 181-run partnership with Marsh.

He was trapped lbw by Matt Hunn in the 51st over, but Marsh continued the assault.

The left-hander reached triple figures off 172 balls as the hosts’ ineffectual attack offered up too many loose balls on a lifeless pitch.

Kent’s generosity started much earlier at St Lawrence Ground.

Captain Sam Northeast won the toss but opted to bowl on what looked a belter.

Rogers, who was sidelined during the recent two-Test series in the West Indies due to concussion, quickly put this week’s ticket saga behind him.

Coach Darren Lehmann suggested runs in this tour game, plus the side’s hit-out against Essex next week, could shape the selectors’ decision.

“Players in form go a long way to ticking the boxes and getting in the side,” Lehmann told radio station SEN, when asked about the battle between Marsh and Rogers.

“So these two tour games are very important for the whole squad.

“They’re not headaches as such, I think they’re great debates. We’ve got such good depth now.”

Steve Smith was 26no at tea.

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