Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting comparisons affected me, admits Jason Sangha
In November 2017, Jason Sangha became the youngest Australian to score a first-class century versus England. © Getty

Jason Sangha, the teenage Australian batting prodigy of Indian origin, has admitted that hearing his name being compared to Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting affected him but that he has now put that behind him as he presses for a place in the national team.

In 2016, Sangha became the second cricketer of Indian origin to be contracted by New South Wales, alongside fellow teenager Arjun Nair, and the youngest, at 16. He has made his way up the ranks of NSW cricket rapidly, having scored heavily in the Under-19 National Championships and then registering a century on debut for the Australian U-19 team, and in 2017 became the youngest Australian to score a first-class century versus England, and second-youngest ever since Tendulkar.

Sangha broke into the NSW senior setup after a successful season in which he captained his country to the ICC Under-19 final last year, and after bringing up his maiden Sheffield Shield hundred this season, he was compared by the commentator Kerry O’Keefe as the batsman with the best technique in Australia since Ponting.

The 19-year-old is part of a Cricket Australia XI to face Sri Lanka in a three-day match in Hobart this week ahead of the Test series and hopes to use the opportunity to stay focus and grounded.

“You can’t really hide away from all the hype in the media, in the past it’s really affected me,” Sangha told reporters Monday. “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.”

After six rounds of the Shield season, he has 267 runs from 10 innings at an average of 29.66. In the ongoing Big Bash League, Sangha has made 117 runs in six innings with one half-century. The day-night game against the touring Sri Lankans is a big chance to press for Test selection.

“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.”