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Agar offers us a lot of flexibility - Lehmann

Darren Lehmann says the pitch in Mirpur could result in Australia fielding two spinners in the first Test

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Australia will draw motivation from their thwarted efforts on the tour of India earlier this year, as they seek a series win in the subcontinent when they take on Bangladesh in the Test series starting Sunday. Australia have not won a series in the subcontinent since 2011 and were clean-swept in two of the three Test series' since then.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann has homed in on the importance of the new ball to the visitors as they look to remove Bangladesh's top order early.
"They have got some quality batsmen all the way down the list," Lehmann said. "They have actually got a really good record at home. They did well against England. Their top order is a key to how they bat. So we have to make early in-roads with the new ball. It will spin and probably reverse the way the wicket goes.
"They have good depth and are a good side at home. We made some in-roads into India but we still lost that series. The challenge for us is to win a series away from home."
The conditions in Mirpur could result in Australia fielding two spinners, with Ashton Agar a potential pick. Agar last played a Test four years ago but Lehmann pointed that he had improved his lengths and offered an all-rounder advantage in the side with his batting and fielding abilities.
"His lengths are a lot better. He has had a good Sheffield Shield season last year," he said. "Young (Mitchell) Swepson is a good prospect as a legspinner. It is really tight between all the spinners. But Ashton batted really well and he is a gun fielder. We are really pleased for him.
"We are hoping for Ashton to reproduce that sort of form. Steve O'Keefe was excellent in India but we have decided to go with Ashton. He has got an all-round game that he hopefully can take to the next level. For example when we play three quicks, he can play up the order. He gives us a lot of flexibility in that way."
Lehman was not too concerned by the fact that the last Test in Mirpur - between Bangladesh and England in October 2016 - ended in three days.
"In India we had three day games. Sometimes the shorter the match, the more exciting Test match it is in a way," Lehmann said. "We are prepared for that, but traditionally it is a good wicket here.
"I haven't seen the wicket in Mirpur. It will be a good wicket here traditionally. The outfield will be fine and hopefully the rain stays away. They are really working hard to get it up. That's all we can ask. We hope that it is dry and we get a great Test match."
With the practice match called off, Australia now will train at the Academy ground next to the Shere Bangla National Stadium, although their training session on Monday was cut short by rain.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84