Ashton Agar aiming to be Australia's Moeen Ali
"I love batting just as much as I love bowling".
In a Test career spread over four years and as many games, Ashton Agar's single biggest moment for Australia remains the stunning 98 he hit on his Test debut, almost five years back.
Part of their limited-overs plans but not having had played a Test in the last one year, Agar, apart from troubling batsmen with his slow left-arm orthodox, is honing his batting skills as he aims to be more 'adaptable' as a batsman.
On Saturday, playing for the Australia A team at the Chinnaswamy, Agar, high backlift and all, looted 17 runs off four balls in the last over of their innings, unleashing a quick blitz after he was pushed up to bat at No.7 against South Africa A. He scored a useful 34 in the same spot against India A a few days back, top-scoring for his side that was bundled out for 151.
Speaking to the media at the post-match press conference after his side's 32-run win against South Africa A, Agar admitted that he had been working on his boundary-clearing abilities during his stint at the English county.
When asked if he was aiming to become a floater like Moeen Ali and play at different batting positions, Agar said: "Yeah, definitely. I think it's important for me to come in and go from ball one like today. I have worked on that a lot. When I was with Middlesex last month, I was working in the nets on six-hitting, and to come in and try and finish an innings".
Having scored two first-class centuries already, the 24-year-old is trying to bring versatility in his gameplay as he aims at broadening his skill-set.
"For me, it's really important for my batting to be really adaptable and then I can be used in any situation. I love batting just as much so I love bowling, and I'm trying to be as good as I can in everything".
His left-arm spin was on point against Khaya Zondo's team, as he put the brakes on the South African innings after they were given a blazing start by the openers. Giving away less than four an over, and picking the wicket of No.3 Rudi Second, Agar confessed that the Quadrangular series is an important one in a bid to be selected for the UAE tour in October.
"Personally, it's a big series for me to try and push my case to go to the UAE. To be honest I haven't thought much about UAE. Till my next game and my next training session - it has worked nicely for me that way in the last couple of years".
The Chinnaswamy surface could be a good preparation for the pitches in the Emirates, and Agar is trying to imbibe as much as he can from his stint in India.
"I think just to bowl well in these conditions, try and formulate some good plan against good players of spin would be really important if I do get picked. So yes, it is a big tour".