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by Sandeep Shivam Wednesday 9 September 2015
Australian left-arm orthodox spinner Ashton Agar is keen to use the ongoing One-Day International series against England as a launchpad for his Test return.
Agar made a memorable Test debut against England at Trent Bridge in 2013, scoring 98 runs and taking two wickets in a 14-run defeat.
The 21-year-old got his maiden ODI cap on Tuesday, in the third game against England at Old Trafford, which Australia lost by 93 runs.
In the 2013 Ashes, after going wicketless in the second Test match at Lord's, Agar was dropped to make way for Nathan Lyon.
Speaking about his rise and fall in Test cricket, Agar revealed that going back to play domestic cricket over the last couple of seasons has helped him learn more and develop his game.
“Up until that game everything had been so natural and it’d all just happened but I wasn’t aware of how it was happening,” Agar said about his meteoric rise to wearing the Baggy Green.
“So to go and play the last two seasons and actually learn my game while I was doing it really helped me because now if it goes off I know how to get it back.
“Whereas before it went off for a bit and it was a bit of a tough time for one season learning how to find that rhythm.
“It’s just learning about the way I play the game.”
Australia will be touring Bangladesh for two Test matches in conditions which are generally helpful for spinners.
Agar revealed that his experience of playing against India A earlier this year has helped him learn the art of bowling on turning wickets.
“I've played on a few spinning wickets at the end of last season.
“I learned how to bowl with rough, on turning wickets (with) different field settings.
“In India for the A series I learned how to bowl to some good players of spin.”
Australia are likely to field a two-spinner attack in Bangladesh, leaving a chance for another spinner apart from Lyon to make a case for his selection.
Facing competition from Fawad Ahmed and Steven O’Keefe, Agar knows that the only way he can earn his spot is by getting himself among the wickets.
“All I can do is just put good performances on the board and the better I do the higher my chances are.
“In the last few games I’ve played in India and today (Tuesday) I’ve just got to try bowl as well as I can.
“There’s a few contenders (for Bangladesh) and they’re all very good bowlers.
“Steven O’Keefe, Fawad Ahmed and myself (are in contention), so it’s best if I don’t think about that.
“The more I think about that the less my focus is on this and this is what’s important right now.”
Australia will take on England in the fourth ODI in Leeds on 11th September with a chance to take an unassailable lead in the series.
© Cricket World 2015.