Ashton Agar has been added to an expanded 14-man Australia squad for the fifth and final Ashes Test against England, starting in Sydney on January 4. The left-arm spinner was given the nod ahead of Steve O’Keefe and Jon Holland as a possible partner for Australia’s first-choice spinner Nathan Lyon for the series finale.
Australia used just one specialist spinner for each of the first four Tests but almost always calls in a second for Tests at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia’s most spin-friendly wicket. Agar made a memorable Test debut against England in 2013, scoring 98 batting at No. 11, but has played only three Tests since after struggling to cement a place in the team.
The 14-man squad also included fast bowler Mitchell Starc, who helped Australia regain the Ashes by winning the first three Tests. Starc missed the fourth Test in Melbourne because of a foot injury and although he is hoping to play in Sydney, he is racing against time to recover.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb.