Sangha still wants to be all-format Australian spinner

Scott Bailey |

White-ball specialist Tanveer Sangha believes more chances will come his way in red-ball cricket.
White-ball specialist Tanveer Sangha believes more chances will come his way in red-ball cricket.

Tanveer Sangha says he still wants to become a three-format bowler for Australia, as the spinner prepares to play his first Sheffield Shield match in almost two years.

Sangha will turn out for NSW against Queensland on Monday, marking his first red-ball game for his state since March 2022.

In the time since, the legspinner has played two ODIs and seven Twenty20s for Australia while missing large parts of Shield action while overseas or injured.

Such is Sangha’s predicament, the 22-year-old has now played more white-ball matches for his country than red-ball matches at first-class level.

But despite that, Sangha maintains red-ball cricket can still be a priority as he hopes to one day add a Baggy Green to his limited-overs playing caps.

“I definitely think all three formats is definitely up for play,” Sangha said.

“There’s plenty of time still. Everyone says I’m young. I’m 22. You’re not going to peak until late 20s.

“It’s the most difficult skill in cricket. I’m still learning, trying to pull leggies, wrong’uns, toppies, sliders and executing all these different variations.

Tanveer Sangha.
Tanveer Sangha appeals for a wicket while playing BBL for the Sydney Thunder. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

“I’m just trying to think long term rather than short. It’s a long career if I do make it and I do get through all of it.”

Sangha does not have to look far to see the impact of white-ball cricket on Test hopefuls.

Adam Zampa has long stated his desire to earn a Baggy Green, but Sangha’s NSW and Australian white-ball teammate has played only two Shield games in the past four seasons.

Glenn Maxwell is another player virtually devoid of Shield matches in recent seasons, with only one since 2019.

“That’s what I’m learning now while I was away,” Sangha said.

“What can I still do while on a white-ball tour to make sure I’m maintaining my red ball-skills, shapes and bowling style?

“Is there something I can just do once a week? Where in one training session I just focus on something specific to red ball, just so I can maintain it?

“That’s the balance that now I’m trying to learn to be an all-format player.”

Tanveer Sangha and Matthew Giles.
Tanveer Sangha celebrates with Matthew Gilkes after taking a Shield wicket in 2021. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

For now, though, Sangha can also see his red-ball game benefiting his white-ball cricket as he maintains a goal of this year’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean.

“Red ball there’s so much more repetition. There’s so much more trying to get the batter out because they have so much time,” Sangha said.

“But in white-ball cricket, they want to come at you. There’s more opportunity to get them out. 

“In red ball there’s quite a bit of thought and time that goes into trying to plan to get a better out, rather than just trying to be consistent.

“That’s where the art of spin bowling is. I’ve seen it with Warnie, (Ravichandran) Ashwin and Gaz (Nathan Lyon).

“Each season I’m trying to get better and better, and not just be the same bowler in a few years time.”