The Australian spinner, Ashton Agar, is set to make an appearance in an unusual Sheffield Shield match, providing him with an opportunity to re-pressu
The Australian spinner, Ashton Agar, is set to make an appearance in an unusual Sheffield Shield match, providing him with an opportunity to re-pressurise his claims for a Test debut.
The 26-year-old has never played more than two Sheffield Shield matches in one season, and the presence of Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis has further hampered his chances for a seat in the Test team.
The upcoming match between Western Australia (WA) and Victoria at the Junction Oval in Melbourne, however, provides with Agar a golden opportunity to mount his claims for a return to international cricket.
WA captain and former Test batsman, Adam Voges, said: “It’s a great opportunity for him to come into a side with a lot of internationals in it and prove himself. Whoever performs in that game hopefully puts their hand up for selection.”
Agar has played only three Tests since his debut in 2013 and his last call-up was back in 2017 against Bangladesh, where he played the first match of the series in Dhaka.
Agar’s county championship debut earned him 26 wickets at an average of 22.81 this season, proof of his flourishing return to form over the past 12 months.
The diverse conditions at the Junction Oval could prove pivotal for Agar, should he take the opportunity presented to him. Additionally, with Nathan Lyon currently out of the series against South Africa due to the birth of his first son, the window is slightly open for a leg-spinner to return to the side.
Victorian batting coach and former Australian spinner, Shane Warne, did not shy away from endorsing Agar’s credentials. “He has got some good variety in his armoury and is an excellent student of the game. He has found some good rhythm this season. If he plays well, he can press his claims.”
Agar will enter the match with the knowledge that he is fully capable of matching the requirements of a Test bowler, but coming up with the performance required is his biggest challenge. He will have to take wickets and bat responsibly to leave an impression on the selectors and prove his worth to the Australian side.
Matthew Zampa Gets Chance to Push Test Claims in Rare Sheffield Shield Appearance
Matthew Zampa, fresh from his two stunning performances in the T20 series against India, is set to line up for New South Wales for the rare Sheffield Shield. He is expected to use this chance to push his case for national selection for the upcoming Test series against India. This will be Zampa’s first outing in the Sheffield Shield since 2017.
Zampa’s Big Chance
With the series against India looming heavily, this is Zampa’s big chance to prove to the selection team he is up to the challenge of performing at the highest level of cricket. After his back-to-back man of the match performances in the T20 series, he will be uncharacteristically confident as he steps onto the field.
The NSW team have eagerly welcomed Zampa back into the fold. It represents a welcome addition of experience to their otherwise young side, as well as having a proven winner among them.
National Selection in Sight
Throughout the Sheffield Shield, Mathew Zampa will be looking to seal his place in the upcoming Test series. He has been a -mainstay in the T20 side for Australia, yet has not been able to break into the Test team as of yet.
This could be his chance to prove he has the skill, nerve and mental resilience to adapt his style for the longest form of the game.
What to Expect
From Zampa himself, we can expect some magical bowling performances full of tricks, guile and variation. His unique spin bowling style has been confounding batsmen down under for years, and now it may be time to test these skills on the international stage.
We can also expect an attacking batting performance, with the added confidence of back-to-back man of the match awards behind him.
Altogether, this is a golden opportunity for Mathew Zampa to cement his place in the national squad for the upcoming Test series against India. With the support of the New South Wales team, Zampa could defy expectation and push for the top spot.
If he can play to his potential he has been showing in the T20s, Mathew Zampa may be well on his way to putting a dream of playing at the highest level of Australian cricket even closer.