Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar harbours no “ill feeling” after being sent back from the Indian Test tour without a game because he knows it’s “ruthless” in top-level cricket.
Agar had landed in India as one of the senior spinners in the Australian squad but returned home after not finding a place in the XI for the first two Tests with uncapped off-spinner Todd Murphy and left-armer Matthew Kuhnemann preferred over him.
The 29-year-old responded by picking up five wickets for Western Australia in the Marsh Cup final against South Australia.
“I felt I wasn’t bowling as well as I needed to be. It’s a very clear direction for me now to just work on it and improve,” Agar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“I harbour no ill will or ill feeling at all. I’m very well supported in that (Australian) camp and they’ve kept in constant communication with me, so it’s all in a good place.
“I’ve been a professional cricketer for ten years now, so I’m far more resilient than when I started. It’s a tough game, it’s a ruthless environment, and that’s how it should be because it’s the pinnacle of the sport.” Agar has taken nine wickets in five Tests, and went wicket-less against South Africa at the SCG Test in January. In limited overs cricket, he has claimed 66 wickets.
“I don’t have a lot of cricket coming up. I’ve chucked my name in the ring for The Hundred… I would like to play cricket in the winter. But the next big target is the World Cup,” he said.
Despite his modest numbers in the longest format, Agar is not ready to give up on red-ball cricket.
“I’ve always wanted to play as much as I could for Australia in whatever format that is and just take my opportunities when they come,” he said.
“Playing for Australia in all forms, of course, I still want to do that. But my focus is just on cricket, you just play what’s in front of you and you try and do as well as you can.” Agar will be arriving back in India for the ODI leg, beginning March 17 and would be hoping that the three-match series help him to seal his place for the upcoming World Cup in the country.
“(Adam Zampa) Zamps is entrenched as the white-ball spinner. It all depends what we’re doing – playing two spinners or just the one,” Agar said about Australia’s possible makeup at the World Cup.
“If I do play, I usually bat at eight and try to get my ten overs out. I’m certainly looking forward to the World Cup.”