When touring journalists revealed to West Indies coach Phil Simmons that Chris Rogers was out of Australia’s team for the first Test the smile that grew on his face spoke volumes.
Rogers was told at training on Monday he wouldn’t play in the series opener in Dominica on medical advice, after sustaining concussion in the nets the day before.
The 37-year-old was left with headaches and dizziness after a local net bowler’s delivery crashed into his temple during Sunday’s first training run at Windsor Park.
Team doctor Peter Brukner delivered the news to Rogers, alongside captain Michael Clarke and coach Darren Lehmann.
It will be the first Test missed by Rogers since his return to the lineup at the start of the 2013 Ashes, a run of 19 consecutive appearances for Australia.
Simmons arrived for his team’s training session a couple of hours later none the wiser, but was in no doubt Rogers’ unfortunate omission was a plus for the hosts.
“He’s a very important part of the batting lineup,” Simmons said.
“He’s been the glue with the others coming in and playing a lot of shots around him … that could be a big miss for them.”
Brukner said an initial assessment of Rogers on Sunday had showed signs of a concussion, and further analysis on Monday forced him to rule the opener out.
“He was disappointed, obviously,” Brukner said.
“No one wants to miss a Test.
“He tried to talk me round, as they do.
“It’s no insignificant thing to rule someone out of a Test match and we don’t do this lightly but my first priority and Cricket Australia’s first priority is to the individual player and his health.”
The news cast a pall over Australia’s session, and has thrown further doubt over the make-up of the lineup for the first Test starting on Wednesday.
Shaun Marsh, who made a century as an opener in last week’s tour match in Antigua, looms as the man most likely to fill Rogers’ spot.
Former opener Shane Watson could also be elevated.
Brukner said he is confident Rogers will be fit to return to the team if selected for next week’s second Test in Jamaica.