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Lehmann backs Agar for Test return in Bangladesh

All-rounder likely to return to Australian Test team after four years

Gulf News

Dhaka: Australia coach Darren Lehmann on Monday backed Ashton Agar to make his Test return during the tour of Bangladesh, four years after the all-rounder made his last appearance.

Agar impressed Australian selectors with his form in the domestic Sheffield Shield competition this season, earning him a recall ahead of left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe.

“Ashton batted really well and he is a gun fielder. We are really pleased for him,” Lehmann told reporters in Dhaka.

“We are hoping for Ashton to reproduce that sort of form,” Lehmann said of Agar.

Australia are expected to field at least two spinners in the first Test in Dhaka starting this Sunday, with Agar now set to join regular spinner Nathan Lyon in the attack.

Lehmann said Australia were prepared for anything at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium, where Bangladesh defeated England inside three days last October.

“In India we had three-day games. Sometimes, shorter the match, the more exciting Test match it is in a way,” he said.

“We are prepared for that but traditionally it is a good wicket here.”

Australia have not toured Bangladesh since 2006 and this series has been long in the making.

A scheduled tour in October 2015 was cancelled amid security fears after attacks by Islamist militants in the Muslim-majority nation.

Cricket Australia agreed to reschedule the series this year only after Bangladesh promised stepped-up security.

The Australians will play two Tests before departing Bangladesh on September 9.