Patience the key with spinning pair: Hogg
Young Scorchers need time to develop says evergreen spinner
15 December 2015, 08:43 AM AEST
Spin veteran Brad Hogg has implored fans to be patient with Perth Scorchers pair Ashton Agar and James Muirhead as they look for more international opportunities.
Hogg, 44, leads the reigning KFC Big Bash League champions’ young spin attack again this season and has called for maturity in his teammates before they are considered for Australian selection.
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Agar debuted in the 2013 Ashes at age 19, while Muirhead was just one year older when he burst onto the scene for Australia in T20 matches against England last year.
Agar represented Australia in two ODIs against England in September this year, however Muirhead has struggled with form and a wrist injury and is yet to represent his native Victoria this summer, let alone register national interest.
"We just don’t want to rush these guys in, we just want to make sure they develop well in first-class cricket," Hogg told Crocmedia.
"Otherwise you’re putting the pressure on them and when they come back to Shield cricket, they think they’ve got to do more than they have to.”
"The youngsters, especially spinners need to do their craft and bowl a lot in the longer form of the game."
Leg-spinner Muirhead, now 22, played one Toyota Futures League match for Victoria last month, managing 1-91 from 17 overs against the ACT and will be looking for more chances to add to his one game for the Scorchers last campaign.
"He’s a fantastic talent, I just think he needs to get his mind right and switch on," Hogg said.
"I think it’s pretty tough for him, he played a couple of games for Australia in the T20s. He was rushed into that level and I don’t think it did him any justice.
"He needs a little bit more maturity. He’s got as many revs on it as Shane Warne had on it. He’s got a great wrist, it’s just a matter of him getting the confidence and getting back into the longer form of the game and getting the ball (to land) on a penny."
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Picked as a left-arm orthodox spinner for his Test debut, Agar scored a memorable 98 on debut and has again put his name up in lights with the bat in this Sheffield Shield season with two centuries.
However, Hogg still sees his future in Test cricket as a bowler, adding he doesn't believe he should be the man next in line for selection.
"He’s going to get picked for his bowling," Hogg said.
"Stephen O’Keefe is very unlucky he’s only played the one Test match over in Dubai. In that particular series I thought Stephen O’Keefe would’ve got another go."
O'Keefe was dropped for Australia's second Test against Pakistan in October 2014 after taking 4-219 on debut as Australia opted for the all-round talent of Glenn Maxwell in a move that backfired in a forgettable series for the tourists.
O’Keefe has been added to Australia's 14-man squad for Sydney's New Year Test, the same position Agar found himself in last year against India.
The Scorchers begin their quest for a BBL 'three-peat' against Adelaide at The Furnace on Monday, December 21.