Who is Ashton Agar? 19-year-old breaks Test records on debut

Agar, right, pictured before his debut began yesterday. Photo: Empics

Australian 19-year-old Ashton Agar made the highest ever batting score for a number 11 on his Test debut today.

His total also made him the highest-scoring Australian number 11 in a Test-match ever.

Agar, from Melbourne, was brought into the side as a left-arm bowler to bat at the very tail end of the Aussie order.

And with England tearing through the visitors' lower order, his wicket looked certain to fall quickly when he entered at 117-9.

Ashton Agar sweeps during his debut Test innings. Credit: PA

But the youngster, playing without pressure, astounded commentators by becoming the first number 11 to make a 50 on his debut in Test match history.

England's inability to dismiss him noticeably irritated Sky Sports pundit Ian Botham, who was expecting a speedier resolution to the innings.

"Beefy, this man is not a number 11," said co-commentator Michael Holding. "He's only batting there because he's 19."

"This is not the stroke play of a number 11," agreed Botham. "These are good cricket shots."

Agar acknowledges the applause after reaching his half century. Credit: PA

Agar's family had flown over from Australia to watch the match, and while they may have been disappointed with his bowling performance, will have been glad to have witnessed his record-breaking batting score.

BBC cricket broadcaster Jonathan Agnew said:

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Brilliant effort by Agar. Debut, 19 yrs old batting at 11. Good range of stokes. Last wkt pship now 61

Former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted:

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It's official... Ashton Agar is the greatest number 11 of all time..... #Ashes

Comedian and cricket fan Andy Zaltzman described the innings as "magnificent."

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Agar completes the first ever 50 by a number 11 on Test debut. Magnificent innings.

Agar played three matches for Home Counties Premier League side Henley CC in March after he arrived on an exchange scheme between Hampshire and Australia.

With his big-hitting breakthrough performance today, he looks to have played his last game at that level.

In a video posted by Cricket Australia at the end of April, Agar said his best performance to date was "taking 5 for 60 against South Australia in the recent Championship season," but that may well need updating now.