Perth Scorchers spinners Peter Hatzoglou and Ashton Agar unveil new tricks ahead of Big Bash League finals
Perth Scorchers spin twins Peter Hatzoglou and Ashton Agar have added some new weapons to their arsenal ahead of the Big Bash finals.
Hatzoglou produced his best performance as a Scorcher and most economical four-over return of his BBL career in Monday’s regular-season finale win over Brisbane Heat at Marvel Stadium, taking 2-17.
The former Melbourne Renegade even landed his first wrong’un midway through his second over to left-hander Sam Heazlett that beat his outside edge, to go with the wickets of Ben Duckett and Nathan McSweeney in a game-changing spell.
Hatzoglou, 23, paid tribute to partner in crime Agar’s influence this summer, with captain Ashton Turner, coach Adam Voges and spin coach Beau Casson also helping build his confidence.
“It’s been really great bowling with Ash, he’s been such a great mentor for me,” Hatzoglou told The West Australian.
“Him and ‘AT’ (Ashton Turner) and the coaches, Beau Casson and ‘V’ (Adam Voges), have given me a lot of freedom to explore and experiment and try new things like I did with my wrong’un.
“It was probably the first wrong’un that I’ve bowled in the Big Bash. It’s been something that I’ve worked on in the background a fair bit but I’ve probably just not had the confidence to roll it out into games.
“Fortunately I’ve got a really good leadership group here and really good peers, they’re just pumping me up with confidence to use it and I was pretty happy with how it came out.
“Ash and I have been speaking about it regularly, ‘AT’ and I have been speaking about it regularly, (former teammate turned Adelaide Strikers recruit) Fawad Ahmed has been giving me pointers along the way and Beau Casson as well, he builds me up with a lot of confidence.”
Hatzoglou isn’t the only Scorcher unleashing new deliveries in BBL11 with Agar learning some new tricks after picking Heat mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s brain after their season-opening clash at Optus Stadium last month.
“I remember after our first game against the Heat when we played in Perth, Ash spoke to Mujeeb almost immediately after the game,” Hatzoglou recalled.
“He’s been bowling these carrom balls, wrong’uns, leg-spinners. He’s really trying to develop his game in that way as well.
“He’s been watching all these overseas spinners have so much success and he’s implementing a lot of those tricks into his game as well which is not only exciting for the Scorchers, but for Australian cricket as well.”
(Agar) is implementing a lot of those tricks into his game as well which is not only exciting for the Scorchers, but for Australian cricket as well.
Getting the chance to play BBL finals for the first time, starting with Saturday’s clash against either Sydney Sixers or Sydney Thunder, likely to be at Marvel Stadium, isn’t lost on Hatzoglou who labelled it a “dream come true”.
The 23-year-old was playing grade cricket two seasons ago before becoming a shining light for the last-placed Renegades in BBL10 and getting lured west to join the three-time champions.
“Two seasons ago I was playing grade cricket and I wasn’t even playing first grade so for things to have eventuated into what they’re coming to now, it’s really a dream come true for me,” Hatzoglou said.
“You don’t want to speak too soon but hopefully we can make that grand final and if we make it there, it’s anyone’s game.”
His debut season as a Scorcher hasn’t been all smooth sailing, with a tough period in the middle where he was subbed out in one game and an unused X-Factor substitute in another.
“As the season has gone on, I’ve definitely become more comfortable bowling to the left-handers,” Hatzoglou said.
“If you look at my stats, that’s where I’ve been hurt over the two seasons I’ve played Big Bash.
“I think it’s been a combination of a few little things going my way and my execution has probably been a bit better towards the end of this season and my plans bowling to left-handers have become better.”
He’s enjoyed a late-tournament purple patch, going at six runs or less an over in his last two games.
“He’s hitting his stride at a nice part of the tournament,” Scorchers teammate Kurtis Patterson said.
SCORCHERS SPIN TWINS
Peter Hatzoglou: 13 games, 13 wickets at 25.92. Economy rate of 7.33.
Ashton Agar: 13 games, 15 wickets at 23.53. Economy rate of 7.06.
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