Ahead of the first Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur, Australia’s left arm spinner, Ashton Agar, is most likely to feature in the starting eleven as coach Darren Lehmann is planning to include two spinners for the first match. If he players, it will be Agar’s first Test in four years. Agar made his debut in Tests against England in the 2013 Ashes series. He performed well with the bat in the two Tests.
Speaking to the reporters, Australia’s coach, Darren Lehmann said, “We obviously haven’t played too much, so we’re fairly settled in where we want to go. That decision will be made later, once we start to have a look at the Test wicket and the conditions. Most likely, I think we’ll play two spinners.”
Nathan Lyon will be spearheading Australia’s spin bowling attack and Agar has a great chance of accompanying Lyon for a twin spin combination as Steve O’Keefe was dropped out of the team. Another youngster, Mitchell Swepson, who is yet to make his debut for Australia, might have to wait for some more time.
Agar was also a part of the Australia Test squad for India series, earlier this year, but was left out of the playing eleven. Left arm spinner O’Keefe showed great form with the ball, picking up 19 wickets in the series, which included 12 in the first Test in Pune. Recently, O Keefe paid the price for his inappropriate behaviour towards a female cricketer at an award ceremony in April and was dropped from the squad for the Bangladesh series.
“Steven was excellent over there but we’ve decided to go with Ashton. He’s got the all-round game and hopefully he’ll take it to the next level so if we wanted to play three quicks he could bat up the order, for example. He gives us a lot of flexibility in that way.”
He added: “Young Swepson is a good prospect as a leg-spinner … it’s really tight between all the spinners but Ashton himself has batted really well, he’s a gun fielder and he’s got his length right with the ball.”
Australia cancelled their two-day practice match on Monday due to contaminated water and recent flooding at the ground. The first Test begins on Sunday, followed by the second and final Test in Chittagong.