Australian chairman of selectors John Inverarity isn’t my cup of tea, but he may well have struck gold in left-arm spinner Ashton Agar.
A 19-year-old Melbourne-born player of Sri Lankan descent, Agar played for Australia against the President’s XI in Chennai over the last two days.
On Inverarity’s recommendation, the selection panel has sent Agar to India to fast track his development after only two Sheffield Shield games for Western Australia.
On debut against NSW at the SCG last month, Agar took 3-103 and was unbeaten on 34 after a first dig 10.
At the Gabba last week he had match figures of 5-138 off 47 overs and cracked 53 with six fours and a six in a state record 10th wicket partnership of 94 with Michael Hogan who finished with 43 not out.
But little did anyone expect Agar to play in Chennai under the stand-in captaincy of keeper Matt Wade
In the drawn two-dayer, Agar took 1-27 off his eight overs, and was stumped seventh ball for a duck.
But Agar was the most economical of the four spinners used – Nathan Lyon 3-69 off 13, Glenn Maxwell 1-20 off four, and Steve Smith 0-34 off four as well.
Although Inverarity will take the credit for Agar being in India, the 193 cm (6ft 4) spinner has two other strong believers in Greg Chappell and Justin Langer. Langer describes Agar as a young Daniel Vettori.
If Langer is on the money, Ashton Agar could be the dream answer to Australia’s spinning problems.
Time will tell. But the signs are encouraging.