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Ashton Agar, whose fairytale Test debut is the stuff of Ashes folklore, is back in the squad for next week’s Sydney Test against India for the first time since that maiden series.
Agar hasn’t played for Australia since the Lord’s Test of July 2013, but has been added to the squad for the fourth Test, which is a dead rubber, in case conditions at the SCG warrant a second spinner.
He shot to prominence by making 98 in his first Test at Trent Bridge, batting at No.11. He was only 19. While his left-arm spin fell away in the months that followed, some have forecast that he might return as a batting all-rounder.
In four Sheffield Shield games this season he has taken seven wickets at 45.14. His selection comes as a shock given he returned figures of 0-105 in his last shield outing against Victoria. He’s also made 130 runs at 26 for Western Australia.
Fellow left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe, who made his Test debut in the UAE against Pakistan, has been sidelined with an injured calf.
Earlier this month Agar, now 21, said he had enjoyed flying under the radar after the initial hype that surrounded his entrance to international cricket.
“There’s definitely a lot less hype around myself at the moment, which is quite nice. Not saying that was a bad thing though, that was quite fun. But I can just go about my business now and do my best for the team,” he said.
“I haven’t really set myself any big goals, just to be consistent is the one thing that I probably lacked last year and that I had in my first few games for WA.”
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