Veteran Voges making up for lost time at Test level
HE MAY have been in the twilight of his career at 35, but Adam Voges posted numbers for Western Australia last summer that Don Bradman would have been proud of.
He became the fourth-highest scorer in a single season in the domestic first-class competition, compiling 1358 runs at an average of 104.46.
That earned him a Test debut against the West Indies in June, and a spot in the Australian team for the Ashes series in England.
Voges was certainly not overawed by what many people regarded as an overdue opportunity at Test level, becoming the oldest player to score a hundred on debut in the West Indies.
He wasn't able to replicate that against England, averaging a tick over 25 in his eight innings, with two half-centuries.
Now 36 and with more than 11,000 first-class runs to his name, Voges is seen as a valuable, experienced member of an Australian team in transition after the loss of a group of key players, including opening batsman Chris Rogers and captain Michael Clarke.
He finished on a polished 83 not out on day two of the second Test against New Zealand at the Gabba, helping Australia declare at 4-556.
Despite the way Voges has settled into the middle order, Rogers, a former teammate at the Warriors, said he didn't think the tall right-hander would have seen his belated Australian selection coming.
Rogers had the same circumstances at the end of his decorated first-class career, being picked for the 2013 Ashes series in England at age 36.
"I would've thought he (Voges) probably didn't even think there would be this kind of opportunity," Rogers told APN.
"It took a record-breaking year where he averaged over 100 to get selected.
"You'd never believe that's going to happen, even in your wildest dreams.
"I think he would've just been enjoying his cricket, and all of a sudden he got onto a roll and found some form he may not have had before, and then the belief would've come."
Voges was highly impressive in his innings against the Black Caps, playing a wide range of shots even when the going was tough early on day two against Trent Boult's pace and swing.
"Boult bowled well in the morning with that second new ball. It would have been a challenge - he's a good bowler," Rogers said.
"But Adam looked comfortable and his footwork looked good. Playing all the shots was the reason he got picked in the first place.
"It's probably made the selectors a lot more comfortable with the team they went in with, and that can only be good for the side."