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Australia's Agar stays positive, but admits: 'Any lead is competitive'

Australia appear likely to face a tough chase in the first Test with Bangladesh. "Any lead is competitive," said Ashton Agar.

Ashton Agar - cropped
Australia spinner Ashton Agar

Ashton Agar is confident Australia can still win the first Test against Bangladesh, but acknowledges they are set to face a stern task batting last in Mirpur.

In his first Test for four years, Agar followed up his three first-innings wickets by making valuable contributions with bat and ball as Australia fought to stay in the contest on Monday.

Steve Smith's men rallied from 33-4 and 144-8 to post 217 and trail by 43. Their recovery owed much to Agar's unbeaten 41 from number nine and the spinner then dismissed Soumya Sarkar before stumps as Bangladesh ended day two on 45-1.

The hosts' lead already stands at 88, meaning early wickets appear essential for Australia when play resumes on Tuesday.

"I believe we can chase anything because I think we can bowl them out pretty quickly," said Agar.

"It's going to be hard - any lead is competitive out there at the moment, with the way the wicket's going.

"But I'm sure our batters, we'll all learn from our first innings and we'll bat better in our second innings, so we've got a good chance."

Discussing the challenges posed by a pitch offering plenty of turn, Agar added: "It's going to get harder and harder to bat on. The Bangladeshi spinners were very accurate for a long time and they got their rewards.

"Shakib [Al Hasan] got five wickets and bowled quite nicely and Mehedi [Hasan] bowled really accurately as well. And it's hard to hit, when you hit a good length it's really tough to score. Sometimes you have to take a risk and that's often when they get the wickets."

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