Former Australian cricketer Ashley Mallet has called teenaged Australian test debutant Ashton Agar a ''natural born predator'', saying that Agar's attitude comes from his Sri Lankan heritage.
According to Australian newspaper The Age, the spin great felt that Agar's smooth and natural way of spinning a ball is in his Sri Lankan DNA, adding that Agar is turning out to be like other Lankan spinners, who bowl naturally, are not over-coached and become wicket predators.
Praising Agar, Mallet said that the left-arm spinner is a confident youngster without any brashness and has impressed with his good rhythm and calm temperament at both home and abroad despite playing just ten first-class matches, adding that Agar delivers from a considerable height and gets a lot of over spin on the ball.
Stating that Agar's ability is appreciated in desire by all spinners to achieve an acutely dipping arc, Mallet further said that Agar's inclusion for the Nottingham Test match is the best selection pick since Max Walker came into Ian Chappell's team against Pakistan at the MCG in 1972 and proved a trump card in the Caribbean just a few months later.
However, Mallet said that unlike Max Walker, whose approach to the crease was a tangle-footed display of arms and legs going in all directions, Agar moves in rhythmically and his whole approach and energy through the crease appears to be the most natural thing in the world for him.
According to Mallet, Agar has similarities to New Zealand veteran Daniel Vettori, saying that the youngster can also bowl the square spinner, a ball which looks as though it is spinning but skids on straight, like he taught to Vettori and England's Graeme Swann, both of whom collected a number of wickets with the method.
Mallet further said that in replacing the inconsistent Nathan Lyon in Michael Clarke's team, Agar brings to the table as much spin talent as his predecessor and better consistency, plus the fact that he is very useful with the bat.