'The best I've seen since Phil Hughes'

By Martin Smith, Yahoo!7 February 13, 2013, 11:26 am

Former Test opener Justin Langer has labelled 19-year-old Ashton Agar the most talented young cricketer he's seen since Phillip Hughes burst onto the scene five years ago.

Agar has played just four domestic matches for Western Australia after relocating from his home state of Victoria.

A left-arm orthodox spinner, Agar is currently in the sub-continent as a net bowler for Australia's batsmen ahead of their four-match series against India.

Langer, who took over as Western Australia coach this summer, says he's not surprised Agar has been fast-tracked into national calculations.

"He's a terrific package," Langer told Perth radio station 6PR.

"He's a fantastic young bloke, he works hard and he's desperate for success. So you put all those things together and it's no wonder he'll be knocking on the door."

The Test squad in India has highlighted the dearth of quality spin bowlers Australia have at their disposal.

With injury left-armers Jon Holland and Michael Beer ruled out with injury, limited-overs specialist Xavier Doherty has earned a call-up in support of No.1 spinner Nathan Lyon.

Spinning all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith have also been included, but neither could be considered frontline Test bowlers.

With Australia due to play 10 Ashes Tests in the next 12 months, Langer said there was no reason why Agar couldn't push for a Test debut this year.

"With where Australia's spin stocks are at the moment, if nothing else he's adding incredible competition to it," Langer said.

"He gives you something different. He's potentially a spinning all-rounder.

"He'll be knocking on the door if he finishes this season well and impresses in India this week."

A former Australian under-19 representative, Agar has taken 13 wickets in four domestic games this summer.

But Langer says Agar is more than just a bowler, highlighted by his innings of 53 against Queensland last week.

"He can bat. He's got incredibly soft and smooth hands when he bats. I haven't seen anyone bat like it for a very long time.

"A lot of young players are very mechanical (but) he's the opposite, he's at the other end of the spectrum.

"And he's a beautiful fieldsman, he's got a great arm. And he's also studying law so he's no dummy."

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  1. underarm_bowler07:52pm Wednesday 13th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Does team GB stand for gay bastards?

    1 Reply
  2. Hidden Fortress07:29pm Wednesday 13th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Agar out for a duck in India against the Presidents XI. Maxwell another duck, Henriques 16 and Steve Smith 41. The allrounders aren't really in Watson's class.....but they can bowl..and Watson can't until the Ashes he says.

  3. David03:26pm Wednesday 13th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    When did Hughes become the bench mark with a test average in the 30's???? Heaven help Aust Cricket if we are judging future test players by this standard.

  4. Hidden Fortress12:50pm Wednesday 13th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    ...if he's as good as Phil Hughes lets bring him into the Test team, then drop him for 2 and a half years, then pick him again.

  5. The Man12:35pm Wednesday 13th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Chalk one up for the Brown Nose Gnome.

  6. Hidden Fortress11:58am Wednesday 13th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Wow, sounds like Langer has a boner. With Maxwell and Lyon spinning for Australia, I don't really think we can be beaten...Doherty ain't no Lyon, I don't think they will pick him over Maxwell.




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