The Rahul Dravid-Virat Kohli impact on Chris Rogers as he guides Australia’s next crop of batsmen
Former Australia opener turned coach Chris Rogers has been watching India closely. @Getty

Chris Rogers, the former Australia Test opener turned Cricket Australia high-performance coach, has revealed how watching Rahul Dravid at work as India Under-19 coach during the ICC junior World Cup earlier this year was an eye-opener, and that he this month texted his young wards while watching India skipper Virat Kohli score a century at Edgbaston.

Speaking to cricket.com.au, Rogers – who played 25 Tests for Australia – said that watching Dravid and the U-19 team in New Zealand “opened my eyes massively”.

“For me there’s some basic, generic technical issues that run throughout our younger players. I completely understand that every player is different but I do see certain traits throughout our young players. It was only having to compare our Under-19 World Cup batsmen to India’s Under-19 World Cup batsmen … and the complete disparity between the two. And our players would be the first ones to admit that the Indian players were exceptional, and technically superior,” said Rogers.

Rogers also revealed how he messaged the young batsmen he coaches as coach of the National Performance Squad as he watched Kohli battle his way to 149 in the first Test against England earlier this month. In particular, during the early exchanges against James Anderson and Stuart Broad, which Kohli saw out to lead his team in the first innings.

Virat Kohli 149 Edgbaston
Chris Rogers was glued to his TV during Virat Kohli’s 149 at Edgbaston. @Getty

As he watched Kohli on TV, Rogers picked up his phone and typed out a message that read: “What would you do when the ball is doing so much that you literally can’t score?”

The idea, said Rogers, was to gauge how the young batsmen believed Kohli had succeeded.

“Watching Kohli in that first Test, he was almost rendered shot-less, because the ball was doing so much,” he said. “It wasn’t that he wasn’t trying to score – and this is arguably the best player in the world – it was that it was almost impossible to score, because the ball was doing too much. It’s in those times that relying on your defence is quite possibly your best option.

“There will often be times in a Test match when that happens, and if you don’t have a defence it’s really difficult to get through, because you can’t just hit your way out of every situation. And if you’re a T20 player, I’d argue that defence is not a skill you’re focusing on too much.”