It’s not the last of Beer: Langer
Michael Beer has been left out of WA’s Sheffield Shield clash against NSW in favour of rising star Ashton Agar (inset).Western Australian cricket coach Justin Langer believes that the latest setback for Michael Beer does not spell the end of his playing days with the Warriors.
The 29-year-old spinner has been left out of WA’s crucial Sheffield Shield clash against NSW, starting at the WACA Ground on Thursday, in favour of rising star Ashton Agar.
Beer has played only two Shield games this season and taken just two wickets. He took both wickets in last week’s outright win over Tasmania, while Agar served a one-match suspension stemming from a Code of Behaviour issue in the Futures League fixture in Brisbane.
Beer also took a backseat in the successful Big Bash tournament, playing three games, as the Perth Scorchers preferred veteran Brad Hogg.
But Langer said that he hoped Beer would take on the challenge of regaining his place as the state’s number one spinner.
“It’s a really tough call. It’s getting hard to have those conversations with him [Beer] because I thought he bowled pretty well in the game,” Langer said.
“He did a good job in a winning team. But unfortunately he’ll be 12th man [against NSW].
“I anticipate he’ll be here next year. He’ll certainly be offered a contract. We like so much about him. Unfortunately like a wicketkeeper – particularly at the WACA – there’s only one spinner in every team.
“I definitely hope Michael Beer is here for the next five years.
“If you look at all the other states, there’ll be competition wherever he goes. Every single state has plenty of spin bowling talent around the place.”
So for now, the opportunity is with Agar, 20, who famously made 98 runs in his Test debut against England at Trent Bridge in July.
He has taken 14 wickets in six Shield games this season.
“Ashton Agar is going to play. We picked him for the first six games of the year. I think with everything he brings to the team, with his fielding and batting, that’s why he’ll get the nod this game,” Langer said.
“He’s a really good young bloke. Six months ago he was playing Test cricket and he’s a very talented young player. Hopefully that combination of talent and his work ethic will give him a good game.
“He [Beer] has got to wrestle that spot off him [Agar].
“I know he’s determined. I know he’s ticking boxes in almost all areas. But he’s got to wrest it off him.
“Either Ashton Agar has got to lose form, or Beery has to be so good we can’t ignore him. The competition is on.
“I’d like to hope Beery will keep pushing so hard that it’s too hard for us to ignore.”
Western Australia is currently in third place on the Shield table, four points behind both NSW and South Australia.
A win over the next four days will see the Warriors move into the top two, with two games remaining.
Quick bowler Jason Behrendorff also returns to the WA side tomorrow, having been rested from the clash against Tasmania. He replaces Nathan Coulter-Nile, who strained a hamstring during the win over the Tigers.
Western Warriors side to face New South Wales Blues: Adam Voges (captain), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Michael Beer, Jason Behrendorff, Ryan Duffield, Marcus Harris, Michael Hogan, Mitch Marsh, Marcus North, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman.
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