Morrant Young Gun: Jake Doran, Tasmania and Australia Under-19 wicket-keeper

Greg Chappell has compared him to Mike Hussey, Chris Rogers sees similarities with Andrew Strauss, but all Australian tyro Jake Doran wants to be is himself.

The 18-year-old has been cast as one of the next Aussie batsmen to bring misery to these shores – and despite not yet flashing a bat in anger in first-class cricket, he’s already given an England team the runaround.

In England Under-19s’ winter series Down Under, he compiled a brilliant 169 in the drawn Test before making scores of 102 and 82 in the ODIs, which Australia won 3-2.

Unsurprisingly, the left-hander was the series’ leading run-scorer by some margin but the hype machine had started long before that, having donned the gloves for England’s Ashes warm-up against the Australian Chairman’s XI in 2013 – two days before his 17th birthday.

But Doran insists he’s remained grounded.

p30 Jake Doran

Doran in action

“I suppose I’m thankful that people do compare me to players like that, but you have your own expectations to live up to,” said Doran. “Instead of playing like Mr Cricket or another Strauss, I need to say that ‘this is my game’ and play that way.

“I started playing cricket when I was about six, following my brother Luke. He was the one I always looked up to and tried to be like, and it was actually my dad Mark who told me you can only try and be like yourself – and that’s what I’ve always had in mind since then.”

Indeed, Doran has not been afraid to make hard choices, after deciding to leave a comfortable life at New South Wales for Tasmania in search of Sheffield Shield cricket.

The switch raised eyebrows but Doran is adamant it’s the right move. Forcing his way into a NSW team that has produced the likes of Michael Clarke and Steve Smith would have been no enviable task.

“Me only being 18, the decision was hard but my older brother has gone through a similar situation at New South Wales,” he said.

“I’ve seen how difficult it is for someone as talented as him to break through into first-class cricket.

“Everyone’s going to have an opinion, but if everyone who’s supporting you is happy and more importantly you’re doing well in your cricket, then that’s the biggest thing to think about.

“There’s going to be a lot of competition at Tasmania, but as older players they’re only going to help me.

“We’ve got Tim (Paine), (Ben) Dunk, Tom Triffit, Ben McDermott, all great players to not only compete against but learn from. We’ll make ourselves better and the only currency is runs.”

Doran achieved another big milestone in senior cricket earlier this year when he took to the field in the Big Bash in the Sydney derby for the Thunder – having become the youngest player to sign a full contract in the competition aged 17 and 311 days.

“There were a lot of nerves heading into that game, but I think it was Jacques Kallis who said to me that as long as I knew that I’d not cut any corners in getting there I’d have nothing to be worried about,” he added. “That took the weight off my shoulders in front of 37,000 people.”

Frustratingly, he didn’t get the chance to bat in a four-wicket defeat against the Sixers. But expect to hear plenty more about him in the future…

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