Regretful thoughts have plagued Chris Rogers over the years, but the recalled batsman is now ready to leave the past behind and embrace the fear he holds for the coming Ashes series.
Understandably burnt by the fact he’s reached 35 years of age and nearly 20,000 first-class runs with just one Test match to his name, Rogers is determined to ensure his final act defines his career.
Rogers knows logic says he has nothing to lose in his second coming to Test cricket.
But that isn’t enough to prevent him from being scared now another opportunity has finally arrived since his one and only chance against India in Perth, 2008.
The left-handed opener who has dominated the English county scene for a decade has sought advice for conquering the fear factor.
“At Middlesex we have a very good sports psychologist and the first thing he said to me was it’s natural to be scared. But to embrace it,” said Rogers, left out of the Australians’ tour match in Taunton, but a front runner to open in the first Test at Trent Bridge.
“There’s definitely fear. I’ve got no illusions about the challenge ahead and for me there is nothing to lose. It’s my last chance in many respects.
“I can’t change the past. I’ve just got to deal with the now and if I do well then I can be very proud of what I’ve achieved.”
It’s been business as usual for Rogers since April when he got the surprise of his life at national selector John Inverarity’s number popping up on his phone.
Yet again he’s the highest scorer in the top division of English cricket and feels on top of every strength and weakness posed by the England Test attack, by virtue of having seen more of them than most.
That said, Rogers has accumulated the majority of his runs in the relative privacy of county and Sheffield Shield venues.
Rogers knows England as intimately as any Australian, that’s why he’s been picked.
But striding out to bat in front of sold out crowds, with the coat of arms badged on his helmet, is an entirely different matter, and Roger has been preparing for it.
“My job has still been to score runs but I guess with the selection came a little bit of extra pressure and I’ve actually been trying to put myself under pressure when I’ve been going out to bat,” he said.
“Knowing that if I do play in the Ashes, all the extra pressures that go with it are going to be more than I’ve experienced at least since my last Test.
“Under the glare of international cricket it’s a lot more intense and they’re the pressures you have to deal with.”
Although the circumstances are completely different, Rogers says he’s learnt from a mistake he believes he made during his only Test to date.
Given the India match was in his home city of Perth, Rogers decided to sleep in his own bed rather than staying at the team hotel.
“I probably regret that. That was my choice and I should have gone in and been around the boys,” he said.
It served as a five-year lesson in how fleeting opportunities can be