Ashton Agar says he hasn’t closed the door on his Test career yet, revealing he is only focused on playing cricket no matter what color the ball is.
Agar returns to India early Thursday morning and responds to disappointment at not being selected during the Border Gavaskar Test series by helping Western Australia to back-to-back Marsh One-Day Cup titles with a career-best List A performance for the state.
The 29-year-old won 5-64 in WA’s 181-run win in South Australia, which was Australia’s third left-arm triumph after missing out on double Marsh Cup and Sheffield Shield titles last year due to national team commitments .
But Agar revealed he is determined to look further ahead rather than what could have been, having traveled to India as one of Australia’s reigning spinners for the four series of Tests before claiming XI in the first two Tests in Nagpur and Delhi missed.
“They felt like I wasn’t bowling as well as I should have and that’s fair enough,” Agar said after the Marsh Cup final.
“It’s a very clear direction for me now to just work on it and improve.
“I don’t have any ill will or bad feelings at all, I’m very well supported in this camp and they’ve been communicating with me constantly… so everything is in a good place.
“I’ve always wanted to play for Australia as much as possible, no matter the format, and just take my chances when they come.
“It’s a tough game. It’s a ruthless environment. And that’s the way it should be because it’s the pinnacle of the sport.
“Playing for Australia in all forms, of course I still want to do that.
“But my focus is just… on cricket, you just play what’s in front of you and you try to make it the best you can.”
Ahead on Wednesday afternoon was a fast-starting South Australian team chasing WA’s record Marsh Cup final score of 7-387, with Redbacks openers Kelvin Smith and Henry Hunt keeping up at the high rate until Agar and veteran Andrew Tye intervened .
Agar took four of the first six Redbacks wickets to reduce the visitors to 6-129 before sealing the victory with Spencer Johnson’s final wicket.
“It’s just nice to play a game, to be in the middle of it and feel that fear of the game when you’re going to bat a little bit nervously,” Agar said.
“I love those feelings and I forget how much I love them because I haven’t been playing too much lately.
“I’ve been really lucky that this group of (WA) players have been around for 10 years and now they’re reaping all the fruits of a lot of hard work.
“I’m personally very proud, I love playing with these guys. They’re my best friends and we’re having a really good time out there and I think that’s why we’re successful.”
Agar is expected to play a key role in the ODI series against India, which begins in Mumbai on March 17, when Australia ramps up their preparations for the October/November World Cup in the subcontinent nation.
He has also put his name in the ring for a stint in a hundred to India to play some cricket in the winter ahead of Australia’s next white-ball series in South Africa in September.
“I’m feeling really good, emotionally and[with]the mental side of things, I’ve put so much work into it,” Agar said.
“I’ve been a professional cricketer for 10 years now so I’m a lot more resilient than when I started and I’ve learned to focus on what’s important so I feel pretty calm going there (India).
“I have to play a one-day cricket over there beforehand so I know exactly what I’m getting into and it’s going to be a really big challenge, there’s no doubt about that.”
https://www.cricket.com.au/news/ashton-agar-western-australia-test-india-marsh-cup-final-spinners-selection-odi-world-cup/2023-03-08 ‘Resilient’ Agar is determined to hold up in all formats