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Australia call-up came as an absolute shock, reveals Tanveer Sangha

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Tanveer Sangha could make his Australia debut later this year

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Australia call-up came as an absolute shock, reveals Tanveer Sangha

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SportsCafe Desk

05/29/2021

Tanveer Sangha, who got his maiden international call-up earlier this year, revealed that he was shocked to see his name in the Aussie squad and claimed that it took a long time for the feeling to sink in. Sangha further asserted that his immediate goal is to learn from seniors and develop his game.

19-year-old Tanveer Sangha entered BBL10 with the reputation of being a street-smart bowler, and the young leg-spinner took no time to impress as he outfoxed batsmen from game one. The teenager finished with figures of 2/26 on debut against the Stars and built on the start to end the season as Thunder’s highest wicket-taker, picking 21 wickets from just 15 matches. 

Young spinners succeeding in their maiden BBL season is something not too uncommon, but so impressed by Sangha’s maturity were the Australian selectors that they handed him a maiden national call-up at the age of 19, in the five-match T20Is against New Zealand. Ultimately the youngster did not feature in any of the five games in the series, which Australia lost 2-3, but the experience turned out to be an invaluable one for Sangha, who only a year ago was playing age-group cricket.

Reflecting on the wild three-month period, Sangha expressed that he did not even dream of getting a national call-up so early, and insisted that he was overwhelmed the moment he came to know that he was selected to represent the country.

"It was pretty overwhelming when (selector) George Bailey rang me – I was in Adelaide for a Big Bash game against the Strikers. I was shocked, I didn't know how to react, and I didn't really actually take it in during the season,” Sangha told cricket.com.au.

"When I was in quarantine in New Zealand I really tried to stop and take it all in, thinking, I'm here with the actual Australia men's team."

"It's not some U19s team, or an NPS squad, this is the actual senior men's team … it felt like a dream. Obviously I'm very eager to play for my country, but I never expected I'd even get an opportunity to be in an Australian squad this early."

The reason why Sangha entered BBL10 with the reputation of being a smart operator was his showing in the 2020 U19 World Cup, in which he finished as the third-highest wicket-taker. The young leggie was a shining light for Australia in a disappointing U19 campaign, and he revealed that the showing in the U19 World Cup made him believe that he could succeed in his very first BBL season.

"From that Under-19 World Cup, I had a bit of a feeling I would be in a better position to play in BBL10, I was really keen on playing and preparing myself to play.

"I don't know if it's been a 'whirlwind', I really expected myself to play, but maybe not every game and get to where I did, and I certainly did not expect to get into the Australia team."

The five-match T20I series in New Zealand gave Sangha the invaluable opportunity to spend time in the nets with experienced campaigners such as Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar, and the youngster revealed that he learnt a lot by conversing with the duo. Sangha also revealed that there was a ‘competitive’ environment at the nets, which pushed individuals to bring out their best.

"We had some very good net sessions, it was very competitive, that's for sure. I talked a lot to Zamps and Ash (Agar) about strategies, what they're thinking, how they change between batters, what are their little cues on how they keep themselves focused."

The presence of the likes of Zampa, Agar and Swepson means that Sangha, currently, at best, is the fourth-choice spinner in the set-up, and the 19-year-old understands the same. The leggie, who has been named in the extended squad for the West Indies T20Is, asserted that he is more than happy to be just around the camp, and insisted that he is eager to learn from his teammates to develop his game. 

"I'm very excited to be part of the selectors' plans, even just to be in the squad and around the environment and learn from the professionals and how they go about it. I couldn't ask for anything better at this age than being around the senior team, asking all the senior guys these questions and them helping me develop my game."

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