Australia's Agar latest to return home from shambolic India tour
Ashton Agar is the latest Australia player to head home from their shambolic tour of India but will link up with the squad ahead of the one-day leg next month, the touring side said on Wednesday.
Australia's hopes of reclaiming the Border-Gavaskar Trophy evaporated after back-to-back defeats in Nagpur and Delhi, both of which came inside three days.
Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has returned home without playing a match and off-colour opener David Warner departed after suffering concussion and a hairline fracture in his elbow in the second test.
"With Ashton, he's worked incredibly hard when he was here," Australia's selector on tour Tony Dodemaide told reporters.
"He's done his absolute best to support the team. We don't doubt that. We acknowledge all the work that he has done here - really trying his backside off."
"It's an opportunity for Ashton to get some valuable game time."
Agar arrived as Australia's number two spinner, behind Nathan Lyon, but did not get a match as the tourists blooded Todd Murphy in Nagpur and Matthew Kuhnemann in Delhi where they fielded a three-pronged spin attack.
With all-rounder Cameron Green and fast bowler Mitchell Starc returning from injuries, Australia deemed it would be better for Agar to play domestic cricket for Western Australia before joining the ODI squad in India.
Former wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist called Australia's treatment of Agar a "pretty big insult" to the spinner.
"... Unless it's a pretty extreme like for like that has to come in - you generally expected the guys that were first reserves to step in," Gilchrist told SEN radio.
"So that's a bit of a body blow for him I would imagine."
Captain Pat Cummins and spinner Mitchell Swepson also flew home but would return before the third test in Indore from March 1.
Beginning on March 17, Australia are scheduled to play three one-day internationals in India.