Cricket Australia have named Ashton Agar and Matt Renshaw in the team’s test squad for the upcoming final test match against South Africa in Sydney which is scheduled to start on January 4.
Agar and Renshaw will replace ace paceman Mitchell Starc and emerging all-rounder Cameron Green who sustained finger injuries in Australia’s series clinching victory at the Boxing Day test in Melbourne.
Australia outplayed South Africa in the first two tests at the Gabba and MCG to seal their World Test Championship final spot and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
Ashton Agar’s inclusion in the squad is noteworthy ahead of their upcoming test series against India in the subcontinent. The dusty and turning pitches in India will likely bring the spinners into play and Australia will aim to develop another strong arm alongside veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
Ashton Agar is a highly talented and clinical left-arm orthodox spinner. He last played a full-house test series against Bangladesh in 2017 and missed his spot to leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson in the recently concluded test series against Sri Lanka as he sustained a side strain injury.
Agar has been back in action and represented Australia’s President XI against West Indies and Western Australia against Queensland. Through his decent bowling performance, Agar scalped 3 wickets for 212 runs.
Notably, Australia’s head coach Andrew McDonald had earlier briefed the selection committee of the dry pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground after which Agar got the preference and will likely feature in the XI for the upcoming test match.
On the other hand, splendid batsman Matt Renshaw has also stormed into the squad after his decisive performance for Queensland. Renshaw will likely lock horns with Marcus Harris to seize a spot in the middle order. His eye will also be on a contemplating performance to snatch the opening spot from David Warner or Usman Khawaja.
Australia will be aiming to conclude the series with a 3-0 dominating whitewash.
Australia’s squad for the 3rd Test:
Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Lance Morris, Nathan Lyon, Matthew Renshaw, Ashton Agar, Steve Smith, David Warner