Ashes 2013: Ashton Agar excited about his unexpected debut at Trent Bridge

Ashton Agar (right) received his Baggy Green from Glenn McGrath at the start of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge © Getty Images

Nottingham: Jul 11, 2013

Australia debutant Ashton Agar inclusion in the first Ashes Test might have surprised few people. However the 19-year-old was selected ahead of Nathan Lyon because he can spin the ball away from right-handers.
 
“I’d like to think I’m a pretty attacking spin bowler. So is Nathan,” Agar was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
 
“I’d like to bring to the side some useful energy. I’m just going to give it 100 per cent,” he added.
 
Agar, born to Anglo-Australian father and Sri Lankan mother, fell emotional when he received his baggy green from Australian legendary pacer Glenn McGrath.
 
 “To be honest, yeah there was, there definitely was. My family were out there. It’s a great bunch of blokes and to have Glenn McGrath present it to me, [made it] that bit more special. It was a little bit emotional. It was that special.”
 
“It was awesome walking out onto the ground. I did a little circle and had a look at the crowd. I looked over at my family and they were all cheering for me.”
 
“I was a little bit nervous. But once my first ball was out of the way, everything felt normal. I just tried to see the batsman as another bloke with a bat in his hand.”
 
Agar shifted to Melbourne from Perth to play Sheffield Shield with Western Australia. Agar has taken 31 First-Class wickets from 10 matches at an economy rate of 3.18. He made his First-Class debut in January and was present with the Australian team when Australia toured India earlier this year.
 
He was informed about his inclusion two day before the Test started by coach Darren Lehmann and selector Rod Marsh, so that his family could fly to England in time to see him make his Test debut.
 
“I was rapt, over the moon,” he said. “Probably the best news I’ve ever received in my life.”
 
“It was unexpected. I’d been told it was a possibility. I’d kept it as a possibility in my head but I wasn’t getting my hopes too high.”
 
Agar is studying law at university. However, it has been put off for some time so that he can concentrate on his cricketing career.
 
When asked about how he is coping with so many responsibilities all of a sudden, he replied, “It definitely hasn’t been difficult. It’s been great. I’ve learned so much and it’s what I want to do. The fact that it’s happened so quickly has made it that much better.”
 
Australia have produced some extraordinary pacers over the years, and more and more youngsters want to become speedsters. When asked what made him select spin over speed, Agar replied, “I couldn’t tell you to be honest. It was just one day I decided to try spin bowling in junior cricket and it just clicked from there. It’s all just happened.”
 
“There hasn’t been too much technical work, coaches have been good that way. They just let my action and everything take care of itself,” he concluded.