Sachin, Ponting comparisons left Sangha ‘caught up in the hype’

Having been compared to Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, all by the tender 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 side against Sri Lanka in a three-day tour match in Hobart.

Great expectations: Jason Sangha concedes he let some lofty comparisons impact his early career.Credit:AAP

Sangha has been selected alongside the likes of Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Chris Tremain and Scott Boland in a squad that is clearly geared towards the future and shapes as an audition for future Test positions.

The former Australian under-19s captain has been touted as a future national senior player ever since he burst onto the scene 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, became the second-youngest player – behind Tendulkar – to score a 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 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 on Sunday night.

"And I've been my own worst enemy sometimes when it comes to that sort of stuff. But in recent years I've learned to enjoy the game a bit more and try to do my best for where the team is."

Sangha has had a mixed BBL – he jumped out of the box with an unbeaten 63 in the Thunder's opening-round win over the Melbourne Stars, but didn't pass 10 again until Sunday's win over the Strikers.

He notched an important 30 and put on a a game-changing 77-run partnership with skipper Shane Watson as the home side secured an important victory.

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.

"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."


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