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."
Kagiso Rabada reiterates BLM support as South Africa opt against taking knee
The Proteas will not take a knee during the forthcoming series against England.
Olly Stone ready to ‘bash down the door’ after England recall
The Warwickshire paceman was included in the one-day international squad against South Africa and impressed in an intra-squad warm-up game.
Sam Billings striving to make sure he keeps place in ‘phenomenal’ England side
Billings and Joe Root put on 103 for Jos Buttler’s XI in a 40-over intra-squad warm-up victory in Cape Town.
Joe Root hits decisive 77 as Jos Buttler’s team triumph in England warm-up match
The 23-man squad was split in two for the 40-over practice match in Cape Town, with Team Eoin Morgan challenging Team Buttler.
Joe Root hits 77 as England warm-up in Cape Town ahead of South Africa series
England split their squad into two teams for a 40-over practice match.
Warm-up match cancelled after second Proteas player tests positive for COVID-19
There will be no intra-squad warm-up for the Proteas thanks to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Chris Jordan says South Africa should not be ‘judged’ for not taking a knee
Barbados-born Jordan says racial inequality remains a pressing matter among England’s diverse squad.
Lockie Ferguson prepared to wait for his Test break
Injury to Lockie Ferguson allowed Kyle Jamieson to seize his opportunity to impress Black Caps team management before lockdown.
ICC makes alterations to World Test Championship points system
COVID-19 has forced the ICC to amend the points system for the 2019-21 World Test Championship.
World leading Dawid Malan ready to prove himself again in South Africa
Yorkshire batsman has impressed in T20 cricket.