Agar set for ODI debut, eyes Test recall

Ashton Agar’s debut ODI series will double as an audition for Australia’s Test tour of Bangladesh.

Agar was named in a 14-man squad for the five-match series against England, which follows the Ashes.

The career-best form of Nathan Lyon means Agar will find it hard to squeeze into the Test XI during upcoming home series against New Zealand and West Indies.

However the left-arm tweaker is a good chance of bowling in partnership with Lyon when Australia play Tests at Chittagong and Dhaka in October.

“What’s our best attack for Chittagong? It’s probably not three fast bowlers and one spinner,” chairman of selectors Rod Marsh said.

“It might be two quicks, two allrounders and two spinners.

“It could be that we take theoretically four spinners on these future (subcontinent) tours.”

Agar made a memorable Test debut at age 19 in the 2013 Ashes.

The West Australian fell off the radar after that tour, but his form in all formats impressed national selectors last summer.

“I’m just more experienced and with that I know my game a lot better than two years ago,” Agar said.

“That counts for a lot.

“Experience is massive in cricket. To have another couple of years under my belt before going into this tournament has been helpful.”

Agar was named in Australia’s squad for the SCG Test earlier this year, while he recently snared a five-wicket haul representing Australia A in Chenani.

Glenn Maxwell, who recently scored 140 for Yorkshire in a county fixture and starred in the World Cup, is also out to prove he deserves a chance to shine in Bangladesh.

Fawad Ahmed was part of the 17-man Ashes touring party and has previously played ODI cricket for Australia.

The legspinner has been overtaken in the spin pecking order, having struggled for consistency in England during the past two months.

“He hasn’t bowled particularly well over here,” Marsh said.

“It’s a tough call, you’d like to see him do well. He did very well in Shield cricket, but at this stage he’s not in.”

Marsh felt “desperately sorry” for Lyon, saying the Test offspinner was unlucky to miss out on the ODI squad.

“He’s bowling that well in Test match cricket it almost seems a shame for him to perhaps lose any of that by perhaps copping a hiding every now and then in one-day cricket,” he said.

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