Is Ashton Agar the future of spin bowling in this country? At just 19, the Victorian turned Western Australian tweaker has garnered a great deal of praise from some of Australia’s finest cricketing brains and on the morning of the first Test at Trent Bridge in the Ashes, July 10th, 2013, he was given his Baggy Green.
"...he is an attacking finger spinner who turns and flights the ball, he is undoubtedly an exciting prospect who is gaining valuable experience in the Bupa Sheffield Shield competition - Justin Langer”.
After moving to the west in 2012, Agar was handed a contract to play with the Warriors for the upcoming season. It took a while before he was handed his first opportunity, but the spinner has made every chance count.
The youngster made his first-class debut against the NSW Blues early in 2013, snaring three wickets at Blacktown Oval. He then backed up a week later to make his limited-overs debut, picking up two wickets in a 13 over spell that yielded just 43 runs.
An impressive showing against Queensland in both formats of the game saw him excel with both the bat and ball. He was particularly impressive in the four day arena, taking five wickets for the match and scoring his maiden half-century.
Incredibly, after just two first-class matches, Agar was plucked from virtual obscurity to join Australia’s touring party to India. The decision to select the 19-year-old was seen as an opportunity for Agar to gain valuable experience from senior members of the squad, and also to experience bowling in different conditions.
The trip was a roaring success for Agar, who picked up four wickets in the two tour matches that he played. It also gave him an insight into what life was like in the Australian camp.
Agar returned a more matured player, and his subsequent performances indicated that he had benefited greatly from the trip to India. A couple of invaluable knocks for WA down the order helped spark thrilling wins for his state, while his bowling has continued to shine, with Agar taking a solid 22 wickets in his six first-class appearances.