Ashton Agar doubtful for ODIs after possible strain


Ashton Agar has joined the walking wounded on Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka, with the visitors now hoping their latest bowling casualty will not have his Test preparation compromised.

Agar bowled (and later batted) through a side complaint during the Aussies’ tight two-wicket win in the first ODI in Kandy, marking the latest disruption to a trip that has seen five bowlers go down in the space of 10 days.

The severity of the injury will be determined on Wednesday but he looks certain to miss Thursday’s second ODI at the least and could be pushing time to be fit for the ensuing two-Test series if it is confirmed as a strain.

Without Agar, Australia have just five fit specialist bowlers in the ODI squad with Sean Abbott (finger), Mitchell Starc (finger), Mitch Marsh (calf) and Kane Richardson (hamstring) all suffering injuries in Sri Lanka.

The Aussies’ sense of humour has at least remained intact: Marcus Stoinis joked that their physio might be required to send down some overs.

“Who knows why they’re happening,” Stoinis told “It’s just a part of things I think and a lot of us have been on the road for a long time.

“Little things like being in different beds, being away from home for a long time and quarantines and isolations – maybe that’s part of it.

“It’s not ideal but it gives opportunities to other people and we’ll have to figure out how to play these games (undermanned).”

With Adam Zampa missing the series due to the recent birth of his first child, Mitchell Swepson now looks certain to add to his two ODI caps in the coming days and could be joined by left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann.

Australia will be sweating on the timeframe for Agar’s recovery, not just for the remaining one-dayers but also for the Tests in Galle where the Aussies are expecting to encounter dusty, spin-friendly surfaces.

Four weeks is the typical recovery time for a side strain; that timeline would rule him out of the start of the Test series beginning later this month.



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