sport

Robson backed for Test debut

Chris Rogers admitted he would be "very disappointed" if Sam Robson did not win his full Test debut for England this summer.

Middlesex captain and Australia opener Rogers believes county team-mate Robson fully merits his first Test call-up after smashing 163 and 41 not out in a 10-wicket LV=County Championship Division One victory over Nottinghamshire.

Australia-born Robson put on a 203 first-innings stand with Eoin Morgan in Middlesex's Lord's victory that could prove "season changing", according to Rogers.

Robson stroked an imperious 163 in the first innings, before adding an unbeaten 41 in the second, producing a 112-run partnership with skipper Rogers to ease Middlesex to the comprehensive victory.

Now Middlesex skipper Rogers believes the time is right for his county team-mate to launch his Test career.

"I'd be very disappointed if they didn't pick him," said Rogers, who notched 63 not out to guide his side to their first league victory of the campaign.

"I think Robbo's ready and I'd like to see him picked.

"He's got such a great head on his shoulders, and I think that's a great sign for a young guy.

"He has the game but he needs to also have the right mindset.

"I think he's got that and the rest is up to him really."

Sydney-born Rogers is on the cusp of Test action for England, after racking up a host of winter centuries with the England Player Programme and England Lions.

The 24-year-old swapped Australia for London after leaving school, and has spent the last six years driving through the Middlesex ranks.

Rogers jokingly conceded he would love to see Robson at the top of the order in Australia's ranks rather than with England.

Now the decision is made though, Rogers said he cannot wait to see his Middlesex opening partner thrive at Test level.

"I think it's pretty hard to take David's [Warner] spot at the moment, but maybe he should take mine!," joked Rogers.

"Behind closed doors I'd probably say to Robbo that I think he should be playing for us [Australia], but he's made his choice and good luck to him, and I'll support him whatever he chooses.

"I'm particularly happy for Robbo, I think he's showing everyone he's a class player and could be the answer as an opener.

"Nottinghamshire are a strong side, they've got a good attack, and I think the thing he does well is he plays all around the wicket.

"He doesn't have many weaknesses at all, and I see a very good future for him, that was real class in this game.

"As another opener that's the kind of innings you're desperate to play and Robbo's showing maturity at such a young age."

Middlesex slumped to an innings and 127-run defeat to Sussex at Hove in the season's opening round.

Rogers' men slipped to 19 for two in a lacklustre opening against Nottinghamshire, before Robson and England maverick Morgan stepped in.

Rogers said the duo's 203-run rescue act partnership could go down as an early-season turning point.

"It was a tough time, a couple of guys probably searching for runs under pressure from above as well, so against an international bowler, it was a fantastic effort," said Rogers.

"It showed a lot of character that, we knew we had to stand up.

"It could easily have gone badly, but for Robson and Morgan to put on 200, that's almost season-changing stuff that."

Steven Finn finished the match with nine wickets, including a first-innings five-wicket haul.

After such a wretched winter with England when he was sent back early, the lofty paceman has completely rebuilt his bowling action.

Rogers hailed his resurgence, but said it is too soon for the 25-year-old to be considered for England again, urging for Finn to be given time to rediscover his groove.

"I think he's been a little bit flattered as well," said Rogers.

"It's hard because I want to see Finny do well, I do.

"When your confidence is shattered and you hit rock bottom, you need time behind you, just to have consistent performances you can fall back on if things don't go so well.

"If he went and played Test cricket right now, he might very well do well, but equally if he bowled a bad spell and the media and public put the pressure on him, it may go the wrong way.

"There's an opportunity to give him some time and let him develop as a person and a bowler."