Just who is Ashton Agar?

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    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.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (39)

    • February 14th 2013 @ 7:45am
      Robert said | February 14th 2013 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      Oh David,i’m disappointed you didnt mention Haddin’s dropped catch last night,no surprise though.If it was Wade you’d be all over it like a cheap suit.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

      • Columnist

        February 14th 2013 @ 8:31am
        David Lord said | February 14th 2013 @ 8:31am | ! Report

        Robert, what has Brad Haddin’s dropped catch got to do with Ashton Agar?

    • February 14th 2013 @ 8:00am
      Red Kev said | February 14th 2013 @ 8:00am | ! Report

      How is pulling Agar from the remaining 4 games of the shield to make him bowl in the nets in India helping his development? Agar like Zampa is one to watch for the future, but the key word is future – they’ve barely played any cricket yet – let them work out and get worked out by domestic batsmen for crying out loud.
      Why does Stephen O’Keefe, a far superior SLAO bowler to Doherty and Beer not get a gig?

      • February 14th 2013 @ 8:26am
        Jamesb said | February 14th 2013 @ 8:26am | ! Report

        O’keefe should’ve played last nights t/20. Windies were batting against similar fast bowlers with roughly the same pace. Australia had no variety in attack, eg: the use of a spinner

      • Columnist

        February 14th 2013 @ 8:29am
        David Lord said | February 14th 2013 @ 8:29am | ! Report

        Morning Red Kev and Jamesb, your comments are valid and fair across the board. But seeing John Inverarity has shown so little vision since he sat in the selection chair, he deserves a salute for recognising Ashton Agar so early and playing him over the last two days in Chennai, not the nets. Let’s give credit where credit is due, it probably won’t happen too often in the chairman’s case.

        • February 14th 2013 @ 9:30am
          Red Kev said | February 14th 2013 @ 9:30am | ! Report

          Fair point Mr Lord.
          I guess I am annoyed that SOK missed out again, although I heard from Taylor on the commentary last night that he’d split the webbing between his fingers on his hand again.

          • February 14th 2013 @ 10:12am
            Matt F said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:12am | ! Report

            Yep O’Keefe is injured, though this happened after the test squad was announced. It does explain his absence last night though. Regardless I still can’t believe they didn’t select a spinner for last nights T20. Aaron O’Brien had a very good BBL and should have come in

            • February 14th 2013 @ 10:46am
              jamesb said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

              Thanks guys, I probably missed the part where Tubby said SOK is injured.

      • February 14th 2013 @ 10:18am
        jameswm said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:18am | ! Report

        Kev Agar won’t miss all 4 remaining Shield games will he? Just read he’s heading home this weekend. I think overall it was a good call by Invers.

        What about Beer? WA can’t support two SLAOs at the WACA surely?

        • February 14th 2013 @ 10:22am
          Red Kev said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:22am | ! Report

          Beer is injured.
          News to me that Agar is flying home – that makes much more sense now, he was over there to net bowl before the main squad arrived (I thought he was ‘on tour’ just not part of the squad). I am now in agreement with D.Lord – very good call from Inverarity.

          • February 14th 2013 @ 11:24am
            jameswm said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:24am | ! Report

            I’m not 100% sure but I think that was part of the plan all along. Net bowler for the first part of the tour.

            If Beer’s injured, I hope Agar plays all the remaining games. He’s 19 and Zampa 20. Maybe there’s some light in the horizon. I like Fawad too, I wonder if he’ll get a look in. Is he qualified yet, does anyone know?

            • February 14th 2013 @ 11:57am
              Disco said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:57am | ! Report

              Bear in mind that Fawad is 33.

              • February 14th 2013 @ 1:13pm
                jameswm said | February 14th 2013 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

                33? I think he’s 30, meaning a good 5-7 years left in him.

                OK, just googled and found two articles, one saying he’s 33 and the other saying 30. He might be one of those ageless types, like Radike Samo in rugby.

                Cricinfo says he’s nearly 34. OK, sort of rules him out really.

              • February 16th 2013 @ 4:11am
                Jamiej said | February 16th 2013 @ 4:11am | ! Report

                Imran Tahir clone if you ask me…

      • February 14th 2013 @ 11:20am
        Disco said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:20am | ! Report

        I quite agree.

      • February 15th 2013 @ 2:50am
        Jake said | February 15th 2013 @ 2:50am | ! Report

        Red Kev

        Ashton is flying home this weekend, thus will be playing in the remaining Shield games. Pretty sure he’s playing for Aus A next week so he might miss 1 Shield game though. The plan was never to keep him in India for the entire tour,

    • February 14th 2013 @ 9:14am
      Sailosi said | February 14th 2013 @ 9:14am | ! Report

      Ashton Agar is a find. Wonderful flight and good pace. Almost a throwback to a Bishan Bedi, Ravi Shastri type left arm ortho. Very excited.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

    • February 14th 2013 @ 9:19am
      Robert said | February 14th 2013 @ 9:19am | ! Report

      It has nothing to do with Agar.But i couldnt pass up the chance to stick the boot into you and your golden boy.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

    • February 14th 2013 @ 10:10am
      jamesb said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:10am | ! Report

      Agar has shown more in 10 days , compared to Doherty;s 10 years of first class cricket.

      • February 14th 2013 @ 11:22am
        Disco said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:22am | ! Report

        Except X-factor.

    • February 14th 2013 @ 10:17am
      Matt F said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:17am | ! Report

      While it has been a promising start, and he is highly rated, let’s not get carried away too early. Dan Cullen and Cullen Bailey were both very highly rated early in their careers and now neither of them can get a state game. Let’s give him time to develop over the next few years and have a better look at him then

      • February 14th 2013 @ 10:25am
        jamesb said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

        good point Matt F.

      • February 14th 2013 @ 11:58am
        Disco said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:58am | ! Report

        Perhaps Nathan Lyon can be added to that list.

        • February 14th 2013 @ 12:26pm
          Matt F said | February 14th 2013 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

          Lyon’s test average is comparable to many off-spinners that have represented Australia at test level so no he can’t be added to that list, at least not yet. We simply don’t produce off-spinners who average mid 20’s in test cricket

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