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England v Australia 5th Test: The six runs that makes Rogers the best bet at The Oval

Padding up the final time . . . Chris Rogers has confirmed he is retiring from Test cricket
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Australian opener Chris Rogers has confirmed overnight he's retiring from Test cricket after the final Ashes match at The Oval. Ralph Ellis is backing him to go out on a personal high, even if the series is already settled.

"Root is now just [1.69] to be the Top Series Batsman while Rogers is as long as [3.05]. Yet there is just six runs between them. If ever a bet screamed ‘value’, it’s to back the Australian."

One big hit. That's all the difference there has been between Joe Root and Chris Rogers this Ashes series. One mighty blow that takes the ball over the boundary rope without bouncing.

OK, if you want to be picky, that's not strictly true. Root has smashed three sixes while collecting 443 runs in all, while Rogers has hit just the one. But the Australian opener has still got 437 against his name to be one of the few to emerge with some credit from the wreckage of Michael Clarke's touring team.

It's worth reminding yourself of those statistics to put some perspective on the way the pair are being viewed before the final Test at The Oval begins on Thursday.

Root is the rising star at the beginning of what will be an incredible year. He's the baby faced, cheeky little new boy. Rogers is the old guy on his way out.

That perception is probably why Root is now just [1.69] to be the Top Series Batsman while Rogers is as long as [3.05]. Yet there is just six runs between them. If ever a bet screamed 'value', it's to back the Australian.

Rogers has confirmed overnight that The Oval will be his final Test. With his 38th birthday looming at the end of the month, and slight concerns over the dizzy spells that followed getting hit on the head by a James Anderson bouncer at Lord's, he's decided to get out while he's still scoring runs.

"I think I can be proud that I've stood up, and played quite well, and made a little bit of difference," he says of his contribution to an Ashes campaign that has gone far from as planned.

"It is pretty special because not many people go out when they are scoring runs or taking wickets, it's generally not how it happens, so that's something to be proud of as well."

This will be his 25th Test, and all but one of them was played after he had passed his 35th birthday. In that time he has been the second most prolific Test opener in the game (behind partner David Warner), and has proved that international selectors should never discard players just because of age. You can keep improving at 35 just as you can at 25.

Rogers has made at least a 50 in every one of the four Tests. He's done it mostly with his back against the wall while everything else was crumbling around him. Root has been brilliant too, but one and 17 at Lord's showed he can have an off game.

It's hard to know what to expect at The Oval. England are [2.4] in the match odds to wrap up the series 4-1, but as Ed Hawkins so correctly pointed out last week, it comes down to who you trust the most in a dead rubber.

In those circumstances it would worry me that Root has been talking gleefully about how England's players spent ten hours drinking at Trent Bridge to celebrate their triumph. Are they really going to be in the right frame of mind to twist the knife into wounded Aussies? And will Root himself have the concentration to build another big innings, or just go out and play with a bit of abandon?

Rogers, on the other hand, has a last point to prove before he disappears into the distance. Who knows? He might even do it by hitting one almighty, but highly significant, six.

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