Australian opener Chris Rogers has defended David Warner’s comments regarding troubled England batsman Jonathan Trott, saying no Australian players knew of his mental state.
Rogers’ opening partner came under fire for calling Trott’s second-innings dismissal – tamely flicking a Mitchell Johnson delivery to deep backward square – “pretty weak and pretty poor”.
That scrutiny only ramped up after the England batsman returned home from the Ashes tour due to “stress-related illness”.
But the 36-year-old Rogers said no-one in the Australian team knew about Trott’s condition and the remarks were not meant to be hurtful.
“The first time I heard of (Trott’s condition) was yesterday, so I think what Davey said – I’m sure that he didn’t mean it in a nasty way or anything like that,” Rogers told SEN Radio.
“And hindsight’s a wonderful thing, but none of us knew what he was going through.”
The Victorian veteran said Trott’s departure will leave a gaping hole in the England touring party.
“It’s a key position, number three, so someone else is going to have to come in and play well for them,” he said.
“And that’s not easy, too, because I think if it’s going to be someone like Gary Ballance then it’s going to be his debut and, as I can tell you, it’s not that easy starting up.
“So it’s probably a good thing for us, but unfortunate for [Trott]. He’s a good guy and must be going through some tough times.”
Rogers also came to the defence of captain Michael Clarke, who was fined by the ICC for sledging James Anderson.
“I think those things are pretty much part and parcel when you’re out there,” he said
“I’ve heard it a few times, he just happened to be caught and it was a bit unfortunate really.
“There’s always going to be a few people who object to it but that’s how it’s played,” he added.
“We’ve all copped it from a few of the English guys so to be on top and to be able to kind of give it back to them that’s, like I said, part and parcel.”
Rogers said it was nice to be able to finally sing the team song on Sunday after going winless through his first six Tests
But after two failures at the Gabba – he was out to a Stuart Broad bouncer in the first innings before cutting a wide long-hop to gully in the second – he said he needed to get back in the nets.
“There’s probably a few of us who still need to perform better,” he said.
“So as a side we can get better and hopefully those guys who didn’t contribute much in the first game will step up and be counted in the second one.
He’s probably one of the worst I’ve faced in the nets … I’ve begged for him not to bowl me too many bouncers but he didn’t listen.
“(I’ve) got to look after the old body but I’ve got to hit a few balls too. (I’m) probably not hitting them as well as I’d like to, so I’ve got some work to do.”
But he could be forgiven for being somewhat apprehensive to get back into training with Mitchell Johnson steaming into the crease.
Rogers said Johnson’s deadly form, not just during the one-day tour of India but also in the nets, gave every Australian player a hint of what was to come at the Gabba.
“He’s probably one of the worst I’ve faced in the nets,” he said.
“Sometimes you think he doesn’t know where they’re going. I’ve begged for him not to bowl me too many bouncers but he didn’t listen.
“He can just bowl so quick and I think what was seen in India in the one-dayers. When he was getting them to fly through that was a great sign for us.
“He’s a confidence player, so I think the score in the first innings was just massive for him as well.”