Steve Smith has the ability to go past Sachin Tendulkar, says Chris Rogers

Rogers, who played 25 Tests for Australia, is in Chennai as coach of the Australian Cricket Academy team that is training at the MRF Pace foundation.

Former Australia Test batsman Chris Rogers addresses the media in Chennai on Tuesday.   -  M. Vedhan

Former Australia Test opener Chris Rogers feels Steve Smith could well go past the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, AB de Villiers in the all-time lists of greats if he continues the kind of form he displayed in the first Ashes Test against England.

Smith scored centuries in each innings and set up a memorable win for Australia when the team was struggling.

Rogers, who played 25 Tests for Australia, is in Chennai as coach of the Australian Cricket Academy team that is training at the MRF Pace foundation.

“He is right up there. The fact that he has gotten better is pretty incredible. I was lucky enough to play against Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers and Steve (Smith) is in their league. If he is going to continue what he is doing then he is going to force his way past them,” said Rogers.

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Australia came back from tough situations in Birmingham, from 122 for eight in the first innings and then after conceding the lead to win the game and Rogers feels that could define the series.

Steve Smith takes a breather during Australia's net session at Lord's.   -  REUTERS

 

“The way we played and the confidence we got as a side out of that, to win from a tough position will hold us in good stead. If we get a good start in the second Test it will be tough for England.”

An area of weakness for the current Aussie side has been the opening where incumbent Cameron Bancroft is under the pump after a poor first Test.

“I think there is a lot of competition for that spot at the moment and if you don’t perform there is someone else who is putting his hand up. So there is a lot of pressure on that position. Lord’s can be a batting friendly pitch at times so if he (Bancroft) can get that opportunity and nail it that would be good. But Marcus Harris is a very good player and his game has come along well so…we have got some good options.”

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Speaking about the current trip and the key focus areas, Rogers said, “Australia is going to play a lot of cricket in Asia in the next 3-4 years and it will give some of the younger players on how to play and develop their game. We want our players to come here, learn, make mistakes and learn from it.

"Watching (Usman) Khawaja bat and using the reverse sweep which a bit he learned from here, getting out a few times but going out and getting a 150 against Pak in UAE using that tactic shows how he has developed as a player.”