Ashton Agar – Teenage Sensation from Australia
Ashton Agar, the left-arm spinner, made a dream debut against England in the first Ashes test match at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. And, he received the accolade, not for bowling, but for a marvelous knock that rescued Australia from a depleted condition against the hosts.
The 19-year-old Agar was given preference over top spinner Nathan Lyon. Although Agar did not get enough scope in bowling, he showed his mettle with the bat. When he came to the crease, Australia were 117/9 in reply to England’s first innings score of 215. Agar provided great support to Philip Hughes and added 163 runs for the last (10th) wicket.
Hughes and Agar set the world record for the 10th wicket partnership by beating the previous record set by Brian Hastings and Richard Collinge (151) against Pakistan in 1973. Again, Azhar Mahmood and Mushtaq Ahmed of Pakistan also put 151 for the last wicket against South Africa in 1997.
Agar also scored the second fastest fifty on Test debut by an Australian batsman (50 balls. Adam Gilchrist holds the record (46 balls). The debutant was unlucky to miss out on a well-deserving hundred, as he was out for 98. However, he surpassed West Indies’ Tino Best (95) as the highest No. 11 Test scorer.
Ashton Agar made his debut in the Sheffield Shield for Western Australia in January 2013. He has taken 31 wickets in 10 first-class matches so far. Although he was part of the Australian team that toured India in March, he got a chance to play only against the India ‘A’ and took three wickets. Undoubtedly, Agar has a long way to go. But, he needs to prove himself as a spinner to secure his place in the team.