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Ramprakash cool on losing Rogers Published: 03 May 2013

 Ramprakash cool on losing Rogers

Mark Ramprakash has challenged the Middlesex batting unit to step up and become the 'leader of the pack' when they lose Chris Rogers to Ashes duty with Australia later this summer.

Ramprakash rejoined the county he left in 2001 late in 2012 as batting coach, having retired from the professional game earlier in the year.

Rogers, who has been Middlesex's most prolific batsman since joining the county from Derbyshire in 2011, is Ramprakash's star asset in a top-six which is considered the weaker element of the team.

But the former England batsman - who played in 52 Tests for his country - said that the rest of the batsmen in the squad had a chance to excel in his absence.

"We have the quality in the squad and will be well into the season by then," said Ramprakash.

"It's a really good opportunity for other senior players like Dawid Malan, Neil Dexter, Joe Denly and Sam Rogers.

"They have an opportunity to get in there and show their credentials; can they be the leader of the pack?"

Rogers will miss four LV= County Championship matches during the Ashes series at a time when early-season pace-setters Middlesex could be forming a title bid.

"Everyone looks to Chris - which is natural because he's such a fantastic player," added Ramprakash, who captained MCC against Lancashire in the 2012 Champion County match in Abu Dhabi.

"But I'm very keen that these other players challenge Chris to be the leading batter in the team."

Rogers, 35, received a call-up in April despite having played in just one Test match - against India in 2008.

He has been prolific in domestic cricket in England and Australia for many years though, and averages more than 50 in first-class cricket.

Watch: Ramprakash speaking to Lord's TV


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