Ignoring Agar for Nagpur Test was Australia's big mistake: Harbhajan Singh

"The Australian team looks slightly empty. Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar has been released. I think he should've played from the first game. He could have been a better option," Harbhajan observed

IANS Mumbai
Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh

Coming into the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India after an unbeaten 10-game run, Australia has had an underwhelming series trailing 0-2 following massive three-day defeats in Nagpur and New Delhi.

The Australian went into the first Test in Nagpur without playing any tour match, claiming that the camp that they had in Sydney and Alur in Karnataka was good enough.

They have also been pulled up for some strange selection decisions the top among them being the call to leave out batter Travis Head for the opening Test in Nagpur earlier this month. Australia lost the first Test by an innings and 132 runs and the second by six wickets.

However, according to former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, another key omission for the Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Jamtha was the decision to not pick left-arm spinner, Ashton Agar.

Australia have been hampered by injuries to key players like Mitchell Starc, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Swepson. They called rookie left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann and withdrew David Warner and Hazlewood, because of injuries while Sweepson went home for the birth of his child.

Harbhajan Singh, in his latest YouTube video, pointed out that Australia's biggest mistake was not including Agar in the playing XI for the Nagpur Test.

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"The Australian team looks slightly empty. Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar has been released. I think he should've played from the first game. He could have been a better option. Australia played two off-spinners, which was a big mistake. Agar is a talented bowler," Harbhajan observed.

Ahead of the third Test starting in Indore on March 1, Australia will be without regular skipper and seasoned pacer Pat Cummins while the team management has also decided to send Agar back home to play domestic cricket, his return to the Test squad after a long gap ending without bowling a single delivery in a match.

Australian selector Tony Dodemaide defended the decision to withdraw Agar.

"(Agar) has worked incredibly hard, he's done his absolute best to support the team. We acknowledge all work he's done, he's worked his backside off," Dodemaide said.

Agar is set to play in Western Australia's next Sheffield Shield game on March 2 and the 50-over Marsh Cup final on March 8.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Feb 26 2023 | 11:33 AM IST

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