Ashton Agar is eyeing to make his return to Test cricket with the aim of playing in Asia where Australia have three tours scheduled for the 2022/23 WTC cycle. Agar is confident and plans to work on exploiting footmarks, something that has been a recipe for success for left-arm spinners.
Australian spinner Ashton Agar is confident of performing in Test cricket for Australia in the 2022/23 World Test Championship where the Kangaroos have three tours scheduled in the sub-continent.
Agar made his Test debut against England in 2013, where he claimed the wicket of then England skipper Alastair Cook as his first Test wicket. Since then Agar has only played for Australia in four Tests, with his last match coming against Bangladesh in Chattogram.
27-year-old Agar, who was a part of Australia’s Test squad that toured Bangladesh in 2017, is aiming to get back into the Test side and believes that, should he earn a recall, he will benefit from the experience he garnered in Asia four years ago.
“I’ve learnt a lot and I’ve experienced a lot since then (in 2017). I’ve got a bit more courage to go out there and try different things, almost like when you’re playing in the backyard and all of a sudden you get this snap idea in your head that ‘This might work’ and you just do it,” Agar told cricket.com.au.
“You’re not worried about how it looks or what happens when it goes wrong. You only think ‘What happens if it goes right?’. That’s how I’m feeling at the moment, to try and do that in the Test arena on a spinning pitch. That’d be a hell of a lot of fun,” Agar further said.
Though non-Asian sides have struggled to gain results in the sub-continent in the past decade, something that has clicked for most sides is the effectiveness of left-arm spinners. Steven O’Keefe, Ajaz Patel and Keshav Maharaj have all had impressive showings in the sub-continent, while most recently England’s Jack Leach tormented India. All the aforementioned spinners followed a simple plan to keep things uncomplicated, and Agar is keen to do the same, focusing on exploiting the rough and being a menace to the batters.
“It just helps when you’ve got someone spinning away from the bat and someone spinning in, or someone spinning away at all times. It’s a bigger challenge for the batsmen,” Agar said.
“There’s always footmarks in different spots and you want to get someone who always has those in play. You’ve got to have a far greater problem-solving ability when you’re out there, because you’ve got a far greater range (of delivery options) to choose from. I’m trying to be that left-arm spinner,” Agar added.
Agar debuted for Australia in red-ball cricket, but of late he has become an indispensable commodity in limited-overs cricket, with his T20I bowling ranking of #8 serving as a testament to his quality in the shortest format. A Test recall might be in the offing, but the left-arm spinner is realistic about his expectations, content with where he currently stands.
“I’ve never tried to be Nathan Lyon. My opportunities for Australia started in red-ball cricket but now they’re coming in white-ball cricket – I think that certainly counts for something as well,” Agar said.