Ashton Agar is adamant his Test career isn’t over despite being snubbed and then sent home from India having starred in yet another title win for Western Australia.
The 29-year-old showed he remained a white-ball weapon, snaring 5-64 in WA’s mammoth 181-run rout of South Australia to claim the domestic one-day title.
He’s set to return to India for the one-day series that will follow the fourth and final Test but doesn’t want to close the door on Test cricket despite being jumped over by rising stars Todd Murphy and Matt Kuhnemann.
Despite being picked in the 18-man Test squad in India, Agar was overlooked in the opening two Tests, with Kuhnemann parachuted in for the second match.
But while Agar conceded he wasn’t bowling well enough, he still wants to wear a baggy green again.
“They felt I wasn’t bowling as well as I needed to be and that’s fair enough,” Agar said after WA’s win at the WACA on Wednesday night.
“It’s a very clear direction forward for me now to just work on it and improve.
“I harbour no ill will or ill feeling at all, I’m very well supported in that camp, and they’ve kept in constant communication with me … so it’s all in a good place.
“I’ve always wanted to play as much as I could for Australia in whatever format that is and just take my opportunities when they come.
“It’s a tough game, it’s a ruthless environment, and that’s how it should be because it’s the pinnacle of the sport.
“Playing for Australia in all forms, of course, I still want to do that.
“But my focus is just … on cricket, you just play what’s in front of you and you try and do as well as you can.”
Agar has ambitions to be part of Australia’s ODI World Cup team, with the tournament to be played in India in October-November.
He said developing his resilience over the course of an international career that began with a stunning Test debut way back in 2013 was key to helping him deal with setbacks and focus on what he can still achieve.
“I’m feeling really good, emotionally and (with) the mental side of things, I’ve put so much work into that,” Agar said.
“I‘ve been a professional cricketer for 10 years now, so I’m far more resilient than when I started, and I’ve learned to focus on what’s important, so I feel pretty calm heading over there (to India).
“I certainly know what I’m in for and it’s going to be a really big challenge, there’s no doubt about that.”