Rogers ton puts Australia on top
Chris Rogers completed his career-long audition to become an Australian Test centurion with an innings to characterise his fighting qualities at Chester-le-Street.
Rogers, who turns 36 later this month, determinedly pushed Australia into a controlling position at the close on day two of the fourth Investec Test.
His unbeaten 101 was the backbone of 222 for five - a 16-run deficit - on a seaming wicket that rewarded the type of patience thrust upon the left-hander during his 15-year first-class career.
Only one other Australian has waited longer to score a Test century - Arthur Richardson in 1926 - and Rogers can call on 20,000 first-class runs as well as 60 centuries playing for the likes of Western Australia, Victoria, Leicestershire and Middlesex as proof he deserved his belated moment in the sun today.
"To get a hundred playing for your country is just magnificent," an emotional Rogers said.
"I'm so happy and so relieved I got it.
"After all this time playing a lot of domestic cricket, to get this opportunity is one that I never thought I would. To get a hundred is just something you can only dream of.
"It was emotional out there, that's for sure."
Rogers' relief was made even more palpable after he had been marooned on 96 for 30 minutes and 19 consecutive balls from Graeme Swann.
During that time he admitted he had been on the receiving end of some good-natured English barbs, as Alastair Cook closed the field in around him, before eventually sweeping Swann to the ropes.
"I didn't have a care in the world," he said.
"No, it was a nervous time. The England boys were saying 'if you don't get it now, you may never'.
"That's exactly what we would have been doing if it was the other way around so I had no problem there."
Before this series Rogers was in danger of being remembered as a one-cap wonder after he was discarded following a Test defeat to India at Perth, where he grew up, in 2008.
In between time Rogers conceded he thought his hopes of returning to the Australia fold, despite the volume of runs he has made both in Australia and England, had long passed him by.
"There's times when sides have been picked and I haven't been in them and thought that that was my chance but it didn't happen," he said.
"Finally this opportunity has come along and I've really wanted to make the most of it and you can say that, but you've still got to go out and perform. It was my day today."
Rogers earned his luck on a difficult surface although he was thankful for the decision review system (DRS) after he was reprieved in rare circumstances after being given out caught behind on 20.
Rogers, who was also dropped by Swann on 49, reviewed umpire Tony Hill's call and while Hot Spot revealed contact was made only with his back pad only, Hawk-Eye suggested he was out lbw on 'Umpire's Call'.
Rogers remained, however, because Hill had not raised his finger for lbw - a decision that bemused some of the England team as the DRS threw up its latest quirk.
"I had already asked about that rule so I knew it was there," Rogers said.
"When it came up as umpire's call I was pretty sure that I wasn't out, even though the England guys thought I was.
"I think it (the DRS) worked pretty well today. I'll leave it at that."
England quick Stuart Broad admitted the England players had not been aware of that ruling, before praising Rogers' century.
"You have to give a lot of credit to Buck with the way he dug it out," he said.
"He realised the wicket is not made for flashy strokeplay. It's a real grinding wicket and you accumulate your runs.
"I think it is tough for an Englishman to feel pleased for an Aussie scoring a hundred in an Ashes Test, especially when you are bowling against him.
"But there's no doubt he's been a great servant to Australian cricket and to English cricket."
Broad (four for 48) had initially sliced open Australia's top-order to leave them 76 for four before a 129-run stand between Rogers and Shane Watson (68) wrestled the control back.
While Broad conceded England now faced the prospect of conceding a first-innings deficit he believes victory is not beyond them - after coming back to win from a similar position in the first Test at Trent Bridge.
"This team has won from tricky positions and also saved games from tricky positions," he said.
"One thing we can't do tomorrow is chase too much. We have to be very patient tomorrow morning.
"The new ball will naturally do something so we have to make sure it is in a good area. They are 20 behind and it's fair to say we will concede a lead but that shouldn't scare us as long as it isn't a big one."