“Hopefully, the pitches stay that way in the subcontinent” -Ashton Agar on turning tracks

Ashton Agar became the latest Australian to defend turning Indian pitches.

Ashton Agar admits he has enjoyed watching Axar Patel bowl on turning Indian pitches. The Australia left-arm spinner talked about the pitches seen during the ongoing India – England Test series, explaining how turning tracks add to the excitement.

The pitches used for the ongoing Test series have divided opinion. With batsmen failing to cope with the turn, players like Michael Vaughan have claimed that the surface isn’t suitable for Test cricket. Meanwhile, legends like Viv Richards and Sunil Gavaskar have refuted such claims.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Ashton Agar admitted watching cricket on turning pitches in the subcontinent, saying in this regard:

“I love watching cricket in the subcontinent. That is the greatest cricket to watch in the subcontinent as a spinner. Pretty exciting stuff, hopefully, the pitches stay that way in the subcontinent. It makes for really exciting cricket.”

Meanwhile, Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon has also rubbished claims that the pitch in the third Test in Ahmedabad was not suitable for Test cricket.

The pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad ended in less than two days, becoming the shortest completed Test in 86 years. Axar Patel was adjudged the Man of the Match, for his match figures of 11/70, the best by a bowler in a pink-ball game.

Ashton Agar was in awe of Axar Patel’s proficiency with the ball, explaining why the left-arm spinner has found success against England.

“Loved watching Axar Patel bowl. He was able to just hit the shiny side of the ball and get a few to go off the wicket. That’s the most lethal one because you are expecting them to turn so much. He would have got maybe ten of his wickets in the last couple of Tests with the straighter ones.”

Ashton Agar, a regular in Australia’s white-ball side, is keen to master the skill of bowling in the subcontinent.

The 27-year-old will likely be a part of the Australian team for the T20 World Cup to take place in India later this year. Understandably, Ashton Agar hopes to learn a thing or two about bowling on turning tracks from Patel, saying:

“The key to bowling in the sub-continent is accuracy and consistency, hitting the stumps every ball. One might turn, and one might not. Sometimes, if you don’t know what the ball is going to do as a bowler, the batsman has absolutely no idea. However, Axar seemed to do it quite a lot of times.”

Patel’s success has motivated Ashton Agar to employ the same technique; Agar also talked about another left-arm spinner, saying in this regard:

“Maybe it’s something to work on. I am keen to play around with that after watching that. It’s a really good skill to have. Rangana Herath is a good example of that. I don’t know whether he meant to do it, but he let the ball pitch in the same spot consistently.”

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