Ashton Agar has said England’s confidence will have been rocked by their stunning six-run defeat by Scotland and has backed Australia to turn the screw when the one-day series starts on Wednesday at the Oval.
“At the end England didn’t really finish the job,” Agar said. “I hope they will be hit by that. For us it’s great England did not win because you always like to go into a series with a win. But they’re a really dangerous side and you can’t ever take them lightly. We need to bring our A-game and be ready to go.”
Agar also denied that Australia, who are playing in the first series under the new leadership of Tim Paine and Justin Langer, will be significantly weaker because of the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, owing to the ball‑tampering scandal in South Africa, and the injured fast bowler Mitchell Starc. “The dynamic will certainly change a little bit,” Agar said.
“There probably hasn’t really been a lot of talk about it in the squad,” Agar said, “but I think it’s a great thing for him to be back around cricket. He would have been hurt and his family too, so to be around the game he loves will be important.”