Last week we asked you to contact us with your questions for Chris Rogers.
We picked a few and caught up with our new County Championship Captain this week to find out the answers!
David Way asked: What leadership qualities do you specifically bring to your new role; and how do you approach captaining Marcus who has been the team’s much loved leader for so long?
“I think my strength as a leader is definitely in the approach that I have to the game. It’s a willingness to never give up and to give everything I have every day. It’s about maintaining standards and knowing that if you want to win, you can’t have days when you don’t really turn up. I’ll be looking to lead from the front. I think the most important thing as an overseas batsman is your runs and then it’s about really doing a job for the team and making sure that everybody is going in the right direction. As for captaining Marcus, it’ll be interesting because he is so revered, not just in Somerset but in the whole of the UK. Those are big shoes to fill! He is Mr Somerset and I’ll obviously still be looking to use his experience and knowledge. To be able to walk into a Club and be able to captain and work with someone with that amount of experience is a huge benefit.”
Will Silk wanted to know if Chris had a favourite ground in England.
“It’s pretty difficult to look past Lord’s,” he said. “Growing up in Australia it’s the ground that you hear about most. It’s the iconic English Ashes Test venue and I was obviously lucky enough to play there for a while with Middlesex. It’s such a unique ground and that’s what makes it special. It has a great mix of tradition and modern style with the Pavilion opposite the media centre. I have great memories there too like the 173 I got in the 2015 Ashes.”
Allie Barter asked: As you will be aware Taunton is traditionally a batsman’s paradise. What will be your strategy for ensuring we can get regular results in the red ball game?
“It’s going to be interesting this year especially with the change to the toss process. All Counties will have to look at how they are going to prepare their pitches. From a captains point of view it’s all about being positive and at times being prepared to risk a loss in order to win a game. Equally it’s about being intelligent about those opportunities and knowing when to play safe or when to be aggressive. From my point of view I’ll certainly be trying to instill a few game plans which won’t be too different from what I’ve seen Marcus do in the past. It’ll be about finding the right balance. I will hope to play aggressive cricket and I think that with the players we’ve got that’s the way to go.”
Wayne Trott wondered how Chris would feel about batting at number three.
“I’ve batted at three before and had some success there,” he said. “It’s something that I’m more than willing to embrace. To bat behind Marcus and Tom and then to have James Hildreth coming in at four means that we’ve got arguably as good a top four as anyone in the competition.”
We also had a number of questions via Twitter. Alex White asked: Do you know the words to Blackbird yet?
“Not as yet. My main aim is to win that first game and to make sure that everything is in place to achieve that. Once that first game is won I’m looking forward to singing it!”
Adam McNally asked: What is your perspective on English County Cricket? How well do you think it compares to the Australian league?
“It’s hard to compare the two. I think County Cricket can be some of the toughest cricket you will ever play especially as a top order batsman. The ball can be swinging around all over the place and you play against some exceptional professionals. County Cricket is in pretty good health at the moment and is producing some really good players. There’s a great crop of young players around at the moment especially at Somerset. The standard is good and I think it is certainly the equal of Shield cricket.”
Via Instagram Luke Patty asked: “At what age did you start playing cricket?”
“My dad played for New South Wales and I picked up a bat as soon as I could. I have a picture of me bowling at my late Grandfather when I was about five or six. I was about eight or nine when I played for my first side and turned professional at nineteen or twenty. It’s certainly always been in my life.”
warda.awan24 wanted to know what the highlight of Chris’ career had been so far.
“It’s hard to look past the Ashes victory in 2013/14,” he said. “We’d been beaten quite comprehensively by England in the 2013 series and despite coming close, it felt like we didn’t know how to win a Test match. So to play like we did with essentially the same eleven players and win five nil against a good England side was really special. There’s also a couple of Shield finals that I was involved in that were really good and winning the Second Division with Middlesex was pretty special. I also remember winning the Birmingham League with Wellington Cricket Club from Shropshire who were in the First Division for the first time. The times that you win as a team are what I think of as the special moments.”
Jack Vowlesy asked: Out of the English attack last summer who was the hardest to bat against?
“Stuart Broad without a doubt. He was the best bowler in that series, especially to me. He developed a tactic for me which I found quite tough and he has skills that very few bowlers have. I always enjoy the challenge of facing Jimmy Anderson as well. As an opener, the challenge of facing the best bowlers in the world is the sort of thing that I really look forward to. I’m just glad that Graeme Swann has retired!”
itz_leicester wanted to know who was the best player Chris has played with and against.
“That’s a really good question,” Chris said. “It was a real privilege to play with Gilchrist and Ponting but the player who reached his absolute peak when I was playing with him was Mitchell Johnson. The way he bowled against England and followed it up against South Africa was special. He just tore them apart. As for a player that I’ve played against, I would have to say Sachin Tendulkar. I played one Test against him and he was just at a different level. It was a privilege just to watch him go about his business. For me he was the epitome of the perfect batsman. It’s not so much the shots that you remember, it was just the fact that he was never going to get out!”
Via Facebook Andrew Read asked: What are the challenges of being one of two Captains within the club?
“I think that having two captains can help a side. As a captain if you keep repeating the same message, it can get a bit stale. Having fresh input every now and again can help to freshen things up. It worked well when I was captaining Middlesex and Eoin Morgan was captaining in the short form. It enables players to hear different messages and it can keep them fresh.”
Daniel Thorne wanted to know what Chris’ favourite cheese was.
“I’m not a big cheese eater but believe it or not I do quite like a good strong cheddar.”
…and finally Seth Locke asked: Would you rather face Lasith Malinga with no shoes on or Mitchell Johnson without a helmet?
“I’ll take a broken foot all day long! I’ve faced Mitchell Johnson enough in my time! I think the most fear I’ve ever had was facing him in the nets. The Phil Hughes incident raised the awareness of how dangerous cricket can be but before that he actually used to practice his bouncers at the top order batsmen in our team because that was his weapon and he needed to practice it. Sometimes it could get a little bit hairy, so in answer to Seth’s question, I’d be happy to walk around with a broken foot thanks.”
Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions from our supporters and we all look forward to seeing you here at the Cooper Associates County Ground!
“You’re more than welcome! Thanks for sending the questions in and I’ll see you all soon. I’ll try and learn the words to Blackbird too!”