Australia star Ashton Agar has credited an Indian ‘rockstar’ after his sensational hat-trick against South Africa in the first T20I on Friday. The left-arm spinner finished the game with career-best figures of 5 for 24 as Australia thrashed the hosts by 107 runs to take the lead in the three-match series.
It was Ashton Agar’s spell that ended South Africa’s hopes in the lopsided contest. South Africa were reeling at 42 for 4 when Ashton Agar came to bowl his first over. With Faf du Plessis still in the middle, the Proteas still had a chance. However, by the time the over ended, it was all over for the hosts.
On the other fourth delivery, Ashton Agar dismissed du Plessis before accounting for Andile Phehlukwayo and Dale Steyn on the next two deliveries to complete his hat-trick. He became just the second Australian to take a hat-trick in T20Is after Brett Lee did it in 2007.
✅ Second 🇦🇺 bowler to take a T20I hat-trick
✅ Second 🇦🇺 bowler to take a T20I five-for
— ICC (@ICC) February 21, 2020
Speaking at the end of the game, Ashton Agar revealed that talking to India star Ravindra Jadeja inspired his bowling performance. The spinner had an underwhelming ODI series in India last month where he managed just two wickets in three ODIs.
After the series, he talked to Ravindra Jadeja and that conversation was enough for him to turn things around. Ashton Agar was all praise for the India star and called him his favourite player while also saying that he aspires to be like Ravindra Jadeja.
“I had a wonderful chat with Ravindra Jadeja after the India series,” Agar said. “He’s my favourite player in the world – I want to play cricket like he does.
“He’s an absolute rockstar: smacks them, gun fielder, and spins the ball. But it’s just his presence when he’s out there, watching his confidence… just talking to him about spin bowling, keep trying to spin the ball. When he’s batting he has a really positive attitude, and he takes that attitude into the field as well.
“So I was pretty inspired by talking to him. And I’ve got good people around me: I’ve got a wonderful fiancée – she’s very supportive, so I’m really lucky – and a great family. They’re able to keep me really level,” he added.
Meanwhile, Australia thrashed South Africa by 107 runs to take the lead in the three-match series. Asked to bat first, the visitors scored 196 for 6 in their allotted 20 overs. In reply, South Africa were all out for just 89.