Test squad inclusion Ashton Agar says he dreams of playing long-form cricket in India ahead of Australia’s tour to the subcontinent in February.
Agar flew to Sydney on Sunday to join the Australian Test squad, and is in the frame to play in Wednesday’s third Test against South Africa as an all-rounder, filling the void left by an injured Cameron Green.
While Agar said his selection for the Sydney Test would depend on the pitch conditions, he was salivating at the idea of potentially bowling spin alongside Nathan Lyon in India next month.
“It is in my mind,” he said of the tour. ″I love watching the Test matches over there, and I think playing Test match cricket in India is something I’ve always wanted to do.
“It’s the most exciting cricket to watch on TV because the wickets have been wild recently. They’ve been spinning sideways, and I imagine they’ll spin a fair bit over there as well. It’s a tour I’d love to go on, but we’ll just wait and see what happens.”
The 29-year-old has played just four Test matches – two in England in 2013, when he made a memorable 98 batting at No.11, and two in Bangladesh in 2017, when he took seven wickets at an average of 23.
Should he come into the side, he would most likely get his first opportunity to bat at No.7, and that’s a chance he said he would relish.
“I feel like if I do come in I’ll be batting around that No.7 mark, which is really cool, that responsibility is really nice, it’s something I’ve been doing for Western Australia and I think it’s something that makes you play better to be honest,” Agar said.
“Professional sportsmen enjoy that responsibility, you feel like you have to step up and do that job for the team. If that opportunity came, I’d just give it my best crack.
“Any time you bat in four-day cricket you have time, particularly at No.7, there’s always enough time. All anyone wants is enough time to make 100, that’s every batter’s dream. I got close once, so it would be nice to do that.”
But the left-arm orthodox said he hadn’t set himself the particular goal of trying to make the Test team for Sydney, where the potential to play two genuine spinners is at its highest.
“With the way the pitch was playing there’s always that chance [I could play in Sydney], but there are a lot of good spinners going around at the moment, so I didn’t really have my eye keenly on this Test,” he said.
“I was just trying to play as good as I could and if the opportunity comes, it comes. That’s just how it works.
“But I also realise ‘Greeny’ [Cameron Green] has hurt himself pretty badly, and I’d rather him be fit and healthy and not have as badly a broken finger. I’m pretty aware of those elements as well. It’s exciting for me personally and really unfortunate for Cam.”
Meanwhile, 24-year-old West Australian quick Lance Morris shapes as a potential replacement for Mitch Starc in Sydney.
Agar said his Scorchers teammate was ready for a shot at national level.
“I’m pumped for that,” he said. “He’s an animal, an absolute weapon to be honest. He’s six-foot-three, a rooster, bowls 150km/h, I think everyone would love to see him in the Test team, and he’s good enough to be there as well.
“His bowling has developed so much in the last few years, from being an out-and-out fast bowler who bowled a lot of bouncers, to someone who can control it at the top of the stumps, uses his bouncer really well and is really well directed.
“He’s pretty special, and I’m sure he’ll do really well if he gets a shot.”
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