Ashes 2017/18: Ashton Agar to Get an Early Look Ahead of Sydney Test
The left-arm spinner, Ashton Agar will get an early clue whether or not he has a chance of playing the fifth and last Ashes Test in Sydney after his first KFC Big Bash League game.
Agar’s Perth Scorchers will start its campaign to defend the title against Sydney Sixers at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the same venue that will host the fifth Magellan Ashes Test ten days later.
Australia has gone in with two spinners in the past two Test at this venue, which has recently got back his former reputation, as the most spin-friendly pitch in the country. Notably, this weekend will be the first time the historic ground has hosted top-level cricket since last summer.
Australia’s only incumbent Test spinner Nathan Lyon feels that Ashton Agar is the front-runner to be the second spinner if the Australian team management opts to play with two spinners in the final Test against England.
Agar will get first use of the SCG surface with the Scorchers this weekend which will dictate whether or not he’s in line to play his first Test on home soil.
“Obviously, I’d love to do that. Any time you get to represent your country is awesome. To play in a home Ashes Test would be incredible and I feel like I’d definitely be ready for it. But it’s not really something I look forward to. To be honest, I hardly look forward to the next day, which is really working for me at the moment. I understand I can’t control those things. I just train, play my best in whatever game I’m playing and the rest takes care of itself,” Agar said while talking to cricket.com.au.
Agar was the part of the squad for the last Test at SCG, but it was New South Wales spinner Steve O’ Keefe, who got the nod ahead against Pakistan, as he did against the Windies 12 months earlier.
But Agar made a strong comeback to the Test squad early this year in Bangladesh where he bagged seven wickets in two Tests which puts him ahead of O’Keefe, and Victorian Jon Holland and Queensland leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson.
The 24-year old Agar will have to prove his form by playing T20 cricket after a finger injury restricted him to just one JLT Sheffield Shield game before the mid-season break.
With the damaged finger “feels completely normal” again, he’s confident he can find his best form early in his return to playing.
“To be back out there playing, especially at the MCG, and to bowl 50 overs in the first innings was great. You always pull up a little bit sore after that, but I’ve been bowling so much in the nets because it’s what I’ve been able to do. My left hand has been fine so I’ve been bowling heaps, and I’ve probably built myself up to that point,” Agar concluded.