Peter Siddle bowls during a nets session at Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday. He could replace the injured Mitchell Johnson.
Peter Siddle bowls during a nets session at Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday. He could replace the injured Mitchell Johnson. Matt King GETTY IMAGES

Last cricket Test against India looms as open and shut case

THE fourth Test against India starting at the SCG tomorrow is likely to be the last time veteran opener Chris Rogers wears his baggy green cap on Australian soil.

Despite turning 38 later this year, Rogers looks a certainty to make this year's Ashes tour to England, but admitted that would probably be his swansong.

"Yeah I think so," Rogers told reporters when asked if the SCG Test would be his last on home soil.

"You never say never, but I kind of looked at the future and thought the England series and what England has meant for me would be a nice way to finish.

"So hopefully I can get through to the Ashes."

The left-hander has played almost non-stop cricket for most of his career, for Western Australia and Victoria in the Australian summers, and with Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and most recently Middlesex in the English county competitions.

His surprise return to the Test arena 18 months ago, and the tours of England, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates that followed, have only added to his workload and had him thinking about the end of a career that has returned more than 23,000 first-class runs and 71 centuries.

"I think you get to a point where touring can be quite difficult," Rogers said.

"Playing a lot of cricket can kind of get to you a little bit in the end, so I'm looking forward to maybe new challenges as well, but they can wait for the moment.

"I've got a few options (after cricket).

"Cricket's been my life for the last 20 years or whatever, so possibly staying involved in the game is an option."

While Rogers' form against India has assured him of a spot in the Ashes squad, the same can't be said for all-rounder Shane Watson and fast bowler Peter Siddle.

Watson's poor form in the current series has put his future in the side squarely in the spotlight.

Only the hamstring injury to emerging star Mitch Marsh assured the 33-year-old of a place in the fourth Test.

His preparation hit another hurdle yesterday when he was sent back to the team hotel with a stomach bug, but is expected to train with the team today.

Meanwhile, New South Welshman Mitchell Starc is considered the front runner to replace the injured Mitchell Johnson who has a hamstring strain and will be rested for the coming triangular one-day series against India and England.

If Starc is included, it could spell the end for Victorian quick Peter Siddle who is likely to be overtaken for future series by young stars James Pattinson and Pat Cummins.

- APN SPORTS BUREAU



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