Ashes 2013: Australia spring surprise selection with Ashton Agar: Who is he?

Do Australia have a secret weapon in their surprise Ashes selection, or is he just the latest in a long line of spinner flops since Shane Warne?

Australia have handed a shock debut to 19-year-old spin bowler Ashton Agar in their side to face England in the first Ashes Test.

Agar, of Sri Lankan descent, comes in for Nathan Lyon and becomes the 434th player to feature in the Australian Test side, having been handed his baggy green cap this morning by Glenn McGrath,

He featured in the warm-up match against Worcestershire last week but his figures did not suggest he would be named for the opening Test, having claimed two wickets for 79 runs in the first innings and just one for 86 in the second.

Having not been named in the original squad, Agar’s selection is believed to be in response to Kevin Pietersen’s apparent difficulty at playing left-arm spin. Pietersen himself is only making his England return today having spent three months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Standing at 6ft 1in, Agar was born in Melbourne but plies his trade for Western Australia. He has played just 10 first-class games taking 31 wickets, and his career best figures are five wickets for 65 runs – not really stats that will have the England batting line-up quivering in their spikes.

Agar is the 13th spinner to play for the Kangaroos since Shane Warne’s retirement, and he will hope for much more success than his predecessors against England Xavier Doherty and Michael Beer.

Agar did feature for Henley competing in the Home Counties Premier League in May, playing the likes of High Wycombe and Welwyn Garden City, and he went on to claim a hat-trick against North Mymms.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England