Agar: Thinking ahead never helped me


Australia spinner Ashton Agar made his Test debut at 19 and stunned England with the bat at Trent Bridge in 2013, but after two Tests he was dropped and hasn't played another, but says he's learned to take it one game at a time.

Now 21, and having made his ODI debut recently, also against England, he says he's learned to take each match as it comes, and to not stress himself out by thinking about the future, and worrying about his competition.

Western Australia's Agar said on the Cricket Australia website: "I don't look any further ahead than the game I'm playing in and I think that’s done me a lot of good.

"You don't get caught up in anything, you don't get caught up in future selection and you don't get worried about anything that way.

"It’s something they're always talking about in sports psychology, just being in the moment and being in the now.

"It’s just controlling what you can control – each ball I'm bowling, each ball in the field or each ball I'm batting.

"You can't control what’s going to happen in the next game. It’s definitely something I’ve learned to just focus on and relax.

"I think that had to come with playing a few games. I probably didn't know that two years ago."

Agar also felt his return to the national side, this time with the white ball and two years after his debut, was ideal. He returned to England and felt he copes a lot better with the spotlight.

He added: "It was really nice to play in England. It was an opportunity for me not so much to start again, but just to improve on last time, I guess.

"I feel a more mature player and I played a lot better than I did last time.

"I felt – not comfortable, because you never really feel completely comfortable out there – but I felt a lot more control out there and I was a lot more calm going into the games."

Being one of the younger players in the side, Agar said he'd been using the tours and domestic tournaments to learn from senior players, and was looking forward to growing under the leadership of Steve Smith.

The spinner continued: "Every game you play, you've got senior players who have played a lot more games than you and you have to make the most of those opportunities.

"Playing with Michael Clarke was fantastic in my two Test matches. I did learn a lot from the way he thinks about the game and he obviously learned a lot from Shane Warne, so talking to him about spin bowling was outstanding.

"Adam Voges has also been enormous to my development as a player, helping me train harder and play harder, while Marcus North was another who was brilliant.

"There are some great minds in the game now, Steve Smith is a young captain but he’s ahead of the game and he thinks really quickly.

"I aspire to be like that. It’s not something that everyone has."