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Rogers to rest before South Africa

By AAP .
31 December 2013 09:26PM EST

WITH his place at the top of the order now secured, Australian opener Chris Rogers is planning some R&R ahead of February's Test tour of South Africa.

After experiencing the highs and lows of Test cricket in a hectic six months of Ashes battle, Rogers has decided time away from the game in January will be more valuable than match practice.

Rogers is the only Australian Test player who doesn't have either the one-day international series against England or the Big Bash League as an option ahead of departure to South Africa on January 29.

There are no Sheffield Shield matches before then, although Australia do have a first-class warm-up game in Potchefstroom before facing the Proteas.

Rogers isn't overly worried about having some time away from the middle after scoring a brilliant match-winning century for Australia in the fourth Test at the MCG.

"No chance in hell (he'll play club cricket). I'm going to take some time off and just recoup really," Rogers said.

"I think 12 months of the year playing cricket, every chance you get to have some time off (you need to take it)."

Fast bowlers Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris weren't picked in the ODI squad, however they can play in the BBL if given medical clearances following the Sydney Test starting on Friday.

Fellow quicks Mitchell Johnson and James Pattinson will prepare for the three Tests in South Africa by featuring in the ODI matches starting on January 12, as will skipper Michael Clarke and allrounder Shane Watson.

However, it's likely selectors will balance the loads of their Test players throughout the five-match ODI series against England and the BBL.

A return to No.1 in the Test rankings is Australia's No.1 goal, and they can move up two places to third if they complete a whitewash over England in the fifth Test in Sydney.

South Africa's series win over India has only strengthened their standing as the No.1 Test nation and backing up an Ashes win with a triumph over the Proteas on the road would be a major feather in the cap for Australia.

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