“I just had a nice long bowl at the WACA, and faced the red ball again,” Agar told reporters on Thursday as part of Youth Focus, a leading provider of youth mental-health services in Western Australia, being announced as charity partner for the Perth Test. “I still have a desire to play red-ball cricket. I would love to be part of the India Test tour.”
The Prime Minister’s XI affair is effectively a warm-up for the visiting West Indies side ahead of the two-Test series which begins in Perth on November 30, but also presents opportunities for Australia’s fringe players.
But his busy commitments in the limited-overs formats have caused Agar to be unavailable for Western Australia (WA) in the Sheffield Shield, with his last appearance being in April 2021. He has a middling first-class record overall averaging 41.28 and striking at 80.7 with the ball.
Despite his suspect red ball record, Agar remains an intriguing prospect for Australia’s hierarchy who are keen for the left-arm spinner to bowl more in first-class cricket with the tour of India looming.
“I think all the skills are there. I have enough experience to shift formats quickly,” he said while revealing he might play in WA’s Shield match against Queensland starting December 1. “But getting your body right and building your bowling loads up to bowl for a long period of time… it’s just a different battle.
“I’ve had a couple of decent side strains recently, which I have to be a little wary of. So just taking that extra care on your body and trying to be as professional as you can is probably the key going forward.”
“They (matches in India) were my favourite games to watch growing up. Games happen quickly. The ball spins miles… if you bat well over there, you’ve batted really well”
Ashton Agar doesn’t want to miss out on playing in India
“The important thing is communication with the selectors,” he said. “They’ve been really good with me. The communication has been really open and really clear. If they wanted me to play more red-ball cricket, they would have given me the opportunity. That’s exactly what they are doing now with the Prime Minister XI game, and maybe another Shield game after that.”
If he does end up playing in India, it would be a dream come true for Agar, whose only previous Test experience in the subcontinent was in Bangladesh, also the last time he played a Test.
“They (matches in India) were my favourite games to watch growing up,” Agar said. “Games happen quickly. The ball spins miles… if you bat well over there, you’ve batted really well. To play over there and hopefully play really well is kind of the goal.”