Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Surely Ashton Agar would have had an impact, says Justin Langer

by IANS |

New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Former Australia coach Justin Langer believes left-arm spin all-rounder Ashton Agar could have made an impact with the ball in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series in India.

Agar made a comeback to Test cricket through Australia's third Test against South Africa in Sydney and went wicketless in the drawn match. But when he landed in India for the Test tour, Todd Murphy and Matthew Kuhnemann were given places in the playing eleven to team up with Nathan Lyon.

With reports of Agar struggling to get his rhythm in the nets, he was sent back home to turn out for Western Australia in domestic competitions. Agar is scheduled to be back in India for the three ODIs starting on March 17.

"It was really strange because Ash Agar played the last Test in Sydney. That was on a pretty flat wicket to be fair, and he copped a bit of criticism. But he went to India and on those wickets, I wrote an article in the West Australian where I said his type of bowling -- he trained and missed the Big Bash Final, he trained in Sydney Daniel Vettori the bowling coach - on those wickets, surely, surely he would have had an impact."

"He would be really disappointed, I've spoken to him a number of times but he's another class act. He made a comment in that interview about, 'Oh, it's old school not to be bitter', I rang him about it and said, 'What do you mean mate?', he said, 'I'm not going to be criticising people, I'm just going to get on and do my job', he's a class act," Langer said on SEN WA Breakfast show.

Langer also said he was unsure of who between India and Australia have been the better team so far, citing the nature of pitches in the series. "There are two really unusual trends in this Test series and there's been a lot of discussion about the pitches in India. One, the games have finished in two days, and three Test matches have finished in just over two days? it's extreme conditions. The second really interesting fact is that the team that has batted first has lost (all three) Test matches."

"In India usually if your team wins the toss your team is eating toasted sandwiches, celebrating and having a party because you know your team's chances of winning have gone through the roof. If you lose the toss, everyone's going, 'Oh no, this is going to be a really tough five days'."

"With the team winning the toss and batting losing all three Test matches, that tells me that the pitches are spinning earlier than usual and have been more up and down than they usually are. These have been extremely spinning wickets, therefore I'm not sure who's been the better team or worse team in this series so far, it's too hard to read."

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