JLT Sheffield Shield 2018-19
The future is now for flying Blues
Twin tons to two teenage prodigies has the Blues well placed against the Tigers and for the future
Sam Ferris at the SCG
6 November 2018, 07:13 PM AEST
'Generation Next' is 'Generation Now' for NSW after rookie pair Jack Edwards and Jason Sangha brought up their maiden JLT Sheffield Shield centuries on Tuesday against Tasmania.
The pair became the first set of teenagers to score Shield hundreds in the same match since Queenslanders Jimmy Maher and Martin Love achieved the feat in 1994.
Edwards was the first to reach his century before he fell for 101, while Sangha pushed on to 117 when he departed.
Edwards said the pair willed each other to their respective landmarks at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground.
"I was pretty nervous in the 90s but having 'Sang' in the 90s as well made me feel a bit better about it, knowing he was probably just as nervous," Edwards said after play.
"I just knew if I stayed out there and batted for long enough I’d get there eventually.
"We told each other, ‘Keep going. We’ve got to keep pushing on. Stay focused’.
"(There were) a few lazy shots from myself where I just needed 'Sang' to tell me to refocus. It definitely helped."
Following declining results in the Sheffield Shield, NSW made the decision to clean house and invest in youth this off-season.
It meant the likes of batter Nic Maddinson and coach Trent Johnston were shown the door while stalwarts Ed Cowan and Doug Bollinger retired.
In their place came Phil Jaques as coach and a crop of talented young players.
Edwards was the first to benefit from the overhaul when he scored his maiden century for the Blues in the JLT One-Day Cup, and now the towering right-hander has a Shield ton on his record.
For Sangha, who scored a first-class century against England last summer, he had to wait until the Shield season to represent his state having been overlooked in the 50-over tournament.
And after recording a pair against South Australia last round, the youngster's confidence could have been rattled.
But after discussion with Jaques and a solid outing for the Prime Minister's XI against the touring South Africans in Canberra, where his 38 halted the Proteas' fightback and delivered the win, the youngster was back in the right frame of mind for the clash with the Tigers.
"Leading up to the week I knew that it happens with cricket," Sangha said.
"I had a good chat with 'Jaquesy', who was in a similar position as well (in his career).
"Cricket's a mental sport, so for me it was just to go out there, continue to back myself.
"I had a good hit out against the South African guys last week, so I had some confidence leading into the game.
"It's a nice confidence booster to know what I've been doing has been right and it was nice to get some runs."
Both players are products of Cricket Australia's National Performance Squad, a cohort of promising young players who work under the tutelage of former Test players Chris Rogers and Ryan Harris at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.
Edwards said both he and Sangha owed a lot to their time spent with the NPS this off-season.
"Working with 'Bucky' (Rogers) for a few good months up there, having good facilities and picking his brain … was really good for myself personally," Edwards said.
"Obviously, he's done wonders with other batters as well – like Josh Philippe and Jake Weatherald as well.
"The NPS is really good and the best thing for my cricket this year."
While Sangha brought up his hundred in front of his family, Edwards' timing was slightly off.
"Mine (family) didn’t arrive until I got out, which is typical but that’s fine," he laughed.