Chris Rogers backs Sam Robson to shine on return to Middlesex after England duty
16:06 27 August 2014
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Middlesex captain Chris Rogers believes that Sam Robson won’t have any issues adjusting from Test cricket back to the county circuit.
The north Londoners face a crunch County Championship clash against Warwickshire on August 31.
The opening batsman played all seven Tests over the course of the summer, averaging 30.54 with a best of 127 against Sri Lanka at Headingley.
Rogers made a similar adjustment last season after playing in all five Tests in Australia’s 3-0 Ashes defeat to England and admitted he struggled on his return to Middlesex, but does not expect his opening partner to suffer in the same way.
“I found it very tough [after the Ashes],” he said.
“There’s so much for Sam to play for where he knows he could have a big career ahead of him. I don’t think there’ll be any real issues.
“I think he’ll be looking to come back and dominate and show he can score big runs.”
He added: “We’ve spoken a few times and I’ve given him my thoughts. He’s found out how hard it can be at the top given the intensity and people looking in and judging.
“I know he’s loved being in it and apparently the guys have loved having him too.”
Despite making a half century in the first Test against India, Robson was unable to make a meaningful contribution for the rest of the series as England came from 1-0 down to beat the tourists 3-1.
His form attracted critics, who claimed that the Middlesex batsman struggled with balls outside of his off stump.
There is a view that that criticism is unfair, especially when great bowlers like Glenn McGrath and Curtly Ambrose took 968 wickets between them by bowling an off stump line.
Rogers said: “If you ever go to a bowling meeting about the opposition it’s pretty much bowl top of off.
“The plan doesn’t really change. I think India have got a couple of very good bowlers.
“In particular, [Bhuvneshwar] Kumar who swings the ball and can be an issue to the right handers.
“Sam found it tough and it’ll be good for him as he’ll learn a lot about his own game. It’s going to help him in the future.”
Middlesex, who are locked in a relegation fight with Durham and Lancashire and host last season’s champions on September 9 and face the latter on September 23, take on Natwest T20 Blast champions Warwickshire in the County Championship, starting Sunday.
Rogers knows that his side must win at least one of their remaining four games to assure themselves of a place amongst cricket’s elite.
“[Warwickshire] played well in their [championship] win over Somerset so they’ll be full of confidence,” Rogers said.
“That’s life in Division One. We should have got the results earlier in the season. We definitely want to stay up and be in the first division where we belong.
He added: “[Durham and Lancashire are] must not lose games. There are no easy games. Durham and Lancs are going to be absolutely desperate.
“We know the challenge ahead which is good for us. We have to play consistently well.”