There are few moments where both sets of fans can come together and enjoy an Ashes performance but Chris Rogers scoring his maiden Test century was one of those moments.
The innings of 110, scored in the fourth Ashes Test in Durham, will find a place in its own little corner of history, given the context of the knock.
Rogers—so long on the fringes of the Australia team without ever getting an opportunity—had scored 20,038 first-class runs in the course of his career before the match, and piled on 60 centuries.
In the history of cricket, the BBC report that just five players have had to score more hundreds before they got their first at Test level:
- 70: Andy Sandham (England)
- 68: CB Fry (England)
- 67: Graeme Hick (England)
- 62: WG Grace (England)
- 61: Darren Lehmann (England)
- 60: Chris Rogers (Australia)
Cricinfo, meanwhile, add that just one other Australian has ever scored his first Test century at an older age, and the oldest for 87 years:
Chris Rogers became the second oldest Australia batsman after Arthur Richardson to hit a maiden century, at 35 years and 344 days. Arthur Richardson was 37 years and 351 days old when he hit his first and the only century of his career, in the Ashes Test at Leeds in 1926.
Rogers is a player who has inspired sympathy for having to wait so long for his opportunity at the highest level.
He made his Test debut in 2008 after 10 years of excelling in first-class cricket but only had one game to prove his credentials at a time when the Australian batting was far stronger.
Now, aged 35 and having put his hopes of an international recall to one side, he has repaid a surprise selection for the 2013 Ashes.
As Rogers put it in an interview with the BBC:
It may have been one of those days for me - things just seemed to go my way. You just had to chip away, and fortunately I had some luck. It was good to make it count. After all this time to play and get a Test hundred is very satisfying.
His run-scoring in Durham was far from pretty and he had to ride his luck to get to his century but in a game where just two other batsmen had to that point made fifties, there was no taking away from a committed, hard-working effort—and it had been a career in the making.