In profile: Ashton Agar

Sports Mole takes a closer look at Ashton Agar, who will make his Australia Test debut during the first Ashes Test in Nottingham.

There was drama before The Ashes had even got underway this morning when the Australians handed a debut to Ashton Agar ahead of the first Test at Trent Bridge.

Back in May, the 19-year-old was lining up in the Home Counties Premier League for Henley against High Wycombe, Welwyn Garden City and North Mymms, but now he will be trying to claim the wickets of Alastair Cook and co.

So, what do we know about a bowler of Sri Lankan descent, who later moved to Melbourne before going on to settle in Perth?

Australia's Ashton Agar in action against Worcestershire.© PA Photos

The spinner only made his first-class debut for Western Australia against the NSW Blues earlier this year and he went on to claim three wickets at the Blacktown Oval.

More wickets and a half-century with the bat against Queensland next time out was enough to convince the Australians to make them part of their squad for a tour of India, albeit in an internship role. However, he did feature against India A and a Presidents XI in Chennai.

His limited number of appearances so far have caught the eye of a number of people though, including Australia legend and his current coach Justin Langer, who said: "He is an attacking finger spinner who turns and flights the ball, he is undoubtedly an exciting prospect who is gaining valuable experience in the Bupa Sheffield Shield competition."

Ashton Agar celebrates bowling out Nick Compton.© PA Photos

The left-armer was also given a stint during the recent four-day warm-up clash against Worcestershire, where among his three wickets was Nick Compton, who has recently dropped out of the England squad, with Joe Root preferred to open the batting.

All of which has led to today in Nottingham, where he was surprisingly presented with his baggy green by Glenn McGrath.

It prompted former England all-rounder Ian Botham to ask: "What does he do?" Well, over the next five days, we will find out.

Alastair Cook on October 24, 2012
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