Rogers ready to ace pace attack in South Africa

CRICKET

Chris Rogers reckons there has never been a better time in his late-blooming Test career to test his mettle against South Africa's vaunted pace attack.

The Proteas boast the top two-ranked Test bowlers: Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn.

The 12th-rated Morne Morkel completes a formidable three-pronged pace battery.

The feel-good story of a buoyant Australian team, 36-year-old opener Rogers thrived in the hothouse of Ashes combat through 10 straight Tests since his unexpected recall last year.

He's confident his game is up for the new challenge after averaging 40 in the series in England and 46 in the home series.

"I got better as the series went along in the Ashes, so I'm feeling in pretty good touch," said Rogers in Potchefstroom as he prepared for this week's four-day warm up match against a South Africa Invitation XI.

"My game is probably in a better order than it has been for a while, so if there was ever a time to take on these guys, it's now."

Asked if he was having any nightmares about facing the Proteas pace attack, Rogers said: "Not yet. If I nick off early a couple of times I might but I think it's one of those challenges that you really look forward to.

"It was a great challenge to take on [England pacemen Stuart] Broad and [James] Anderson and now the South African attack is even possibly another step up.

"I've seen these guys bowl for years on TV and faced a couple of them, so I know, or at least think I know, what they are going to do. But I think it's all about adapting once you get out there and playing the conditions and playing the bowler.

"This is as big as it gets and if I can do well, then I can be very proud."

Rogers said it hadn't been hard for the touring Australians to refocus so soon after their comprehensive Ashes triumph.

"We can use the momentum we got from the Ashes to take it into this series," Rogers said.

"I think there's a really good feel amongst the group and that stems from what we did over the summer."

Rogers said he got good feedback from opening partner David Warner who, despite being nine years younger, played 16 more Tests and faced the South Africans in 2012.

"To be honest, he's [Warner] actually quite good to talk to about cricket.

"He has a lot of good ideas and comes from a different perspective so we've gelled quite well." 

AAP

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