Teams Played For
Australia U19, Western Australia, Perth Scorchers, Australia, Australians, National Performance Squad, Australia A, Middlesex, Warwickshire
It was a big call from the then Australian skipper Michael Clarke to include a relatively unknown spinner in an Ashes XI in favor of an experienced Nathan Lyon. The player in question is Ashton Agar who will forever be remembered for his exceptional batting exploits coming in at No 11. In the 2013 Ashes, a tall left-arm spinner made the XI and didn’t have much to do as the Australian pacers did the majority of the damage in the 1st innings. Australia was in the doldrums and was reduced to 117/9 when Ashton Agar joined the Late Philip Hughes at the crease.
What followed next was madness as the duo shared an incredible 163 runs stand for the final wicket. Agar looked in complete command of proceedings and some of his shots during his knock of 98 would have made any top-order batsmen proud. It was quite exceptional to see a No 11 batsman batting with freedom and authority. He narrowly missed out on a century but that didn’t deter his concentration. He went onto pick Alastair Cook as his maiden Test wicket.
After such a fairytale start to his Test career, the joy was short-lived as Agar was dropped from the XI after just one more Test. Since then he hasn’t played too much Test cricket for Australia. Hailing from Victoria, Agar rose through the ranks pretty quickly. Making his first-class debut in 2013 for Western Australia, Agar made the Test cut the same year.
His career never really took off from there. Having started off as a left-arm orthodox spinner, Agar has gone onto become one of the most reliable middle-order batsmen for Western Australia in the Australian domestic circuit. He kept on improving his skills and again managed to break into the side during Australia’s tour of India in 2017. He didn’t get a chance to be part of the XI but made a comeback against Bangladesh.
In the first T20I match against South Africa in 2019, he became only the second Australian bowler to take a hat-trick in a T20I match. He finished the match with figures of 5-24 from his four overs, his first five-wicket haul in a T20I match. A key figure in the shortest format for the Aussie side, he will be looking forward to turning on the screws before the T20 World Cup in October.
Despite being a work in progress, Agar has more or less cemented his place in the Australian side in the T20 format. With his batting a huge plus for any team he plays for, Agar should go on play more matches for Australia in the near future especially in the shorter formats.
(As of June 2021)