Sri Lanka Tour of Australia - Men's
‘Best since Ponting’ affected by hype
Teenager eyeing off tour match against Sri Lanka after returning to form in the KFC BBL
14 January 2019, 02:40 PM AEST
Having been compared to Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, all by the age of 19, Jason Sangha admits the hype got to his head.
Sangha has a golden opportunity to show the cricketing world what he's made of later this week when he lines up for a Cricket Australia XI against Sri Lanka in a three-day tour match in Hobart.
Sangha has been selected alongside Test squad members Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne in what shapes as an audition for spots for the Gabba Test.
The former Australian under-19s captain has been touted as a future national senior player ever since he burst onto the scenes two years ago.
He earned his first professional contract with NSW when he was still completing his HSC and in just his second first-class game in November 2017, he became the second-youngest player - behind Tendulkar - to score a first-class century against England.
After scoring his maiden Sheffield Shield ton against Tasmania earlier in the summer, former Australian cricketer Kerry O'Keeffe described him as the saviour of local cricket and as possessing the best technique since Ponting.
"You can't really hide away from all the hype in the media, in the past it's really affected me," Sangha said after the Sydney Thunder's 71-run BBL win over the Adelaide Strikers.
"And I've been my own worst enemy sometimes when it comes to that sort of stuff. But in recent years I've learnt to enjoy the game a bit more and try and do my best for where the team is. "
Sangha has had a mixed time for the Sydney Thunder in the KFC BBL; he jumped out of the box with an unbeaten 63 in the Thunder's opening round win over the Melbourne Stars, sharing a match-winning partnership with England skipper Joe Root.
However he didn't pass 10 again until Sunday's win over the Strikers, in which he notched an important 30 and put on a game-changing 77-run partnership with skipper Shane Watson.
At a time when Australian cricket is screaming out for a white knight, Sangha doesn't shy away from his ambitions and is ready to put his name up in lights against Sri Lanka starting on Thursday.
"For me it's about learning a bit more about pink-ball cricket," Sangha said of the day-night game in Hobart.
"I'm very excited for the opportunity. As long as I'm learning each game, whether it's today or the game against Sri Lanka and learning more about my batting, making sure I'm giving it 100 per cent when I'm at the crease, I'll be satisfied with that."
Sri Lanka's match against the CA XI in Hobart will be live streamed for free on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app from Thursday
Domain Test Series v Sri Lanka
Australia: Tim Paine (c/wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha
CA XI: Joe Burns (c), Kurtis Patterson (vc), Scott Boland, Jake Doran (wk), Jon Holland, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Will Pucovski, Jason Sangha, Matt Renshaw, Chris Tremain
Jan 17-19: Tour match, CA XI v SL, Hobart (D/N)
Jan 24-28: First Test, Gabba (D/N)
Feb 1-5: Second Test, Canberra