Having been compared to Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar plus Australian and Tasmanian cricket superstar Ricky Ponting, all by the age of 19, Jason Sangha admits the hype got to his head.
But Sangha now 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 at Blundstone Arena.
Sangha has been selected alongside the likes of Tasmania's Jake Doran plus Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Chris Tremain and Scott Boland in a squad that is clearly geared towards the future in what shapes as an audition for future Test positions.
The former Australian U19s 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 at secondary school and in just his second first-class game in November 2017, he 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 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 experienced a mixed BBL - he jumped out of the box with an unbeaten 63 in the Thunder's opening round win over the Melbourne Stars.
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 a game-changing 77-run partnership with his 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 this 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."
WHAT: Cricket Australia XI v Sri Lanka - Pink Ball Tour Match
WHEN: THIS Thursday 17 - Saturday 19 January 2019
WHERE: Blundstone Arena, Hobart
FREE ENTRY - ALL SESSIONS - ALL DAYS
DAILY MATCH SCHEDULE
Gates Open: 1.30pm
Coin Toss: 1.30pm
Session One: 2-4pm
Tea Break: 4-4.20pm
Session Two: 4.20-6.20pm
Dinner Break: 6.20-7pm
Session Three: 7-9pm
Speaking on the CA XI, National Selector Trevor Hohns said:
“The CA XI squad is critical to our pathway system and continuing to harness identified talent at the highest possible level. The players in this squad are of interest to the National Selection Panel, as we look ahead to the World Cup and Ashes campaigns in 2019.”
Australia XI Squad
Joe Burns (c) - Queensland
Kurtis Patterson (vc) – New South Wales
Scott Boland – Victoria
Jake Doran (wk) - Tasmania
Jon Holland – Victoria
Marnus Labuschagne - Queensland
Michael Neser - Queensland
Will Pucovski - Victoria
Jason Sangha – New South Wales
Matt Renshaw - Queensland
Chris Tremain - Victoria
Charlie Wakim - Tasmania
Sri Lanka Squad
Kusal Janith Perera
Dananjaya De Silva