‘I was probably the biggest winner’ when Swann retired, says Chris Rogers

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“He’s the one guy I’ve always found difficult even just to score runs”

Australia opening batsman Chris Rogers has admitted that “I was probably the biggest winner” when England off-spinner Graeme Swann announced his retirement midway through the ongoing Ashes series.

Rogers also conceded that Swann’s bowling had troubled him throughout the Ashes series.

“Congratulations to Swanny for such a great career but I was probably the biggest winner out of it all,” Rogers said. “There’s been times when I’ve felt pretty good at the crease and comfortable except for Swann. He’s the one guy I’ve always found difficult even just to score runs. So with him out of the side it was not going to be mentally exhausting having to face their attack.”

Speaking about his fantastic century in the second innings of the fourth Test in Melbourne, Rogers said: “We spoke about utilising the new ball, as the best time to score was against the new ball. That gave me a license to go out and be positive. From there, things just went well, I started to hit the ball better than I had been and it all snowballed really quickly.

“I’m not sure that’s how I’ll go out and bat all the time. Nice to do that every now and then. But still circumstance dictates that you change up your pace, so if we’re in trouble you can’t really get out playing risky shots. So I’ll still weigh up the situation.”

Rogers, like every other member of the national team, is also hoping that the baggy greens can humiliate England even more by whitewashing them 5-0.

“In this series, I haven’t felt great,” Rogers said. “I haven’t been hitting the ball well but the lead up to Perth was really good and I started to finally feel I was hitting the ball a bit like I was in England. Apart from the run-out there, it’s been going quite well.

“There’s no way I thought we were going to be in this position, I must admit. I thought we were going in the right direction and, at times in England, we played some really good cricket but to be 4-0 up that’s just exceptional. England are a good side, they haven’t played the way they would have hoped to but I think that’s credit to us.

“It would be quite nice for all the guys who have played in the whole series to be rewarded at the end. If you were to miss out this game to be presented with a victory at the end, wouldn’t be as sweet so I guess everyone is keen to play. We made sure we watched England when they won at The Oval and still can remember how that felt. So to be on the other side this time is fantastic and I’m sure we’ll milk every moment of it.”

Rogers also noted that it was nice to have an extended break between the fourth and final Test.

“No chance in hell [of playing club cricket],” Rogers added. “Going to take some time off and just recoup really. I think 12 months of the year playing cricket, every chance you get to have some time off, I don’t think the Prahran boys will be too disappointed with me not being around there.”

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