Adam Gilchrist on the Ashes: Despite the Ashes defeat Ryan Harris and Chris Rogers have been winners

The Aussie Angle: These thirtysomethings show what is required to be quality Test players

As Australia deal with the aftermath of not only losing the Ashes series but also the convincing, even venomous manner in which England crushed their batting to end the Fourth Test, the two real positives that have emerged for sleep-weary folk Down Under are Ryan Harris and Chris Rogers. Their efforts at Durham did not deserve to be left so unrewarded by the final result, but they can at least be consoled by the thought that they have proven themselves beyond all doubt as Test match cricketers.

I've had a lot to do with Ryan through playing together in the IPL, getting to know him as a cricketer and a man. It's certainly no surprise to see him achieve the success that's come his way in this series.

In my experience he embodies everything that is required of the perfect team cricketer. Ryan drives himself as hard as he possibly can for personal excellence but, in pursuing that, it's all done with a vision focused on whatever the team require at any given moment.

Whether he's opening up with a new-ball spell, backing up late in the day for his 22nd over, or being part of a social function and trying to develop a sense of collective spirit, he's very aware of what being a team member is about. I've never seen him shy away from those requirements, whether written or unwritten. A particularly important quality is the amount of interest he shows in his team-mates. He's always been prepared to listen rather than be the dominant voice in the room, and that sort of humility helps in creating a closeness among those around him.

To this point Ryan's greatest challenge has been fitness, and his efforts in England make it easy to wonder how much better Australia may have performed at various times in recent years had a fit Ryan Harris always been available to them. He's a strong guy and he works hard, but unfortunately he's found a way of picking up what starts as a niggling injury then can develop into something more significant, leading to time on the sidelines.

With that in mind, it will be fascinating to see which way Australia's selectors go on choosing him for the final Test of the series. England have themselves lost the sorely underrated Tim Bresnan to a back stress fracture, and the tourists will not want to follow suit. While mindful of the opportunity to rest guys who may be injured and therefore miss future matches, I think Ryan himself deep down would dearly like to play at The Oval. When you've missed as much cricket as he has through injury, and don't know how much you have left, you want to take every opportunity to go out and play.

Australia have a chance to show some of the resolve they demonstrated for most of the Tests at Old Trafford and Chester-le-Street, and try to get the kind of result that would lead to a more positive mindset when they start the return series back home.

I've always felt that if they're all fit, you pick your best XI, and under those terms Ryan is just about the first man chosen. Only he really will truly know if he has any niggles or issues that may see him unable to make it through that Test match, but I hope for Australia's sake that he plays.

Having taken part in the 2008 Perth Test that for so long seemed destined to be Rogers's only game for Australia, I have been delighted to see him get a decent opportunity in this series, and even more so to see how tightly he has grabbed it. He was picked specifically for the tour given his experience of conditions in England and the stability he would provide, and he's more than done that.

He's been a terrific example to the whole team of how to go about your batting, how to build an innings and provide a solid foundation for the rest.

The main thing he has achieved is to show what can be done when a batsman knows his game and his job very clearly.

Of course, innings of the quality of his 84 at Old Trafford and then his wonderfully gutsy century in Durham raise the question about why Chris was not chosen earlier.

For years Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden kept him out of the team with their unshakeable partnership. But once they had retired, it appeared the selectors felt that as he had passed the age of 30 it was time to start giving younger players an opportunity and get early-twentysomethings into the team. That was a judgement made at the time, but fortunately for Australia, Chris kept at it and was belatedly given a chance.

Having taken it up so grandly, there is no reason he should not now play many more Test matches for Australia, going on for as long as he wants to. The collapse of the batting on the fourth evening of the Durham Test showed that Chris's skills and character are in increasingly short supply, and should be valued as such.

At 33 and 35, Ryan and Chris were products of the older Australian cricket scene that pushed the importance of the Sheffield Shield through the 1990s and into the 2000s.

If any players of more recent generations are wondering about what is required to become reliable first-class cricketers and then quality Test match performers, these two men provide a priceless example of how to do so.

To read Adam Gilchrist's columns in full, visit the world's leading cricket website: espncricinfo.com

To read Adam Gilchrist's column in full, visit the world's leading cricket website espncricinfo.com

cricinfo cricinfo  

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick