Ashton Agar all grown up since Ashes debut

Dec 31, 2017 - 2:11 AM Recalled Australian spinner Ashton Agar insists he's grown up and is a far more consistent bowler than the one who made his magical Ashes debut in 2013.

Agar shot into the Test limelight four-and-a-half years ago when he made a record score of 98 while batting at No.11 - and it's still the first thing English players reference when the left-arm orthodox spinner's name is raised.

However, for all that innings' glory, Agar has played only three Tests since then after he managed just two wickets at 124 in two matches in that 2013 series.

But now aged 24, Agar insists he is ready for another crack at the old enemy if named in Australia's XI for Thursday's Sydney Test after being called into a 14-man squad.

"I don't look back on that (Trent Bridge) too much. They are great memories but I've definitely moved forward since then and I feel like I've improved as a player," Agar said.

"I was a kid. I was 19 ... I'm certainly better for the experience.

"I've grown up a lot since then. Life experience and cricket experience.

"I'm still reasonably young, but the time is now so I'm just going to give it a good crack."

An eternity has seemingly passed since Agar's Test debut. Seventeen players have since received baggy greens, while Jon Holland and Stephen O'Keefe have both had cracks at the spinning spot alongside Nathan Lyon.

All the while, Agar has worked closely with mentor John Davison and Indian spin guru Sridharan Sriram to get himself better ready for Test cricket.

Ultimately, he was rewarded with two Tests in Bangladesh earlier this summer before this week's call up.

"We've worked on my action a little bit a few years ago. Its just been a lot of bowling and self-confidence," Agar said.

"All you've got is yourself out there and it's certainly grown.

"It's more just understanding my basics and how to consistently bowl my best ball - which is what you have to do in Test cricket.

"You have to consistently hit that length and challenge the batter's forward defence, so that's what I've worked on."

Agar insists he will be better prepared this time around too.

When he was selected in England in 2013, he could feel his bowling slipping away from him during an Australia A series which acted as a forerunner to the Tests.

However, after the Bangladesh Test series and a later one-day series in India, Agar has established himself as the country's second spinner ahead of O'Keefe and Holland.

"I feel better coming into a Test match now. It doesn't feel too fresh or too out of the blue," he said.

"Playing the one-dayers in India was a pretty whirlwind experience. So I certainly feel a lot better walking out onto the SCG now."

Source: AAP

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