SIXTEEN-year-old L-plater Jake Doran was out on a driving lesson when he was named to face England later this month in an Ashes tour match.
The schoolboy from Sydney’s west is closer to his HSC exams than he is to Test cricket.
But on November 29 he’ll keep wicket and bat in the top-order for Cricket Australia’s Chairman’s XI against England in a two-day match in Alice Springs.
Job one is to pass his licence test next week in Fairfield. Then he’ll turn his attention to facing England.
“I didn’t do anything too bad,” said Doran of his morning on the road.
“I missed the call from one of the state talent managers and my brother found out that I’d been picked when it got posted online.
“It’s pretty exciting.
“It’s definitely a big challenge facing them, I’m all for it.”
Cricket Australia see the match as an ideal development opportunity for the left-handed batsman/keeper, who will feature for Australia at next year’s under-19s World Cup.
However, England may not be so chuffed that one of their Ashes tour opponents requires a leave pass from school to face them.
Doran is under the guidance of National Talent Manager, Greg Chappell, who has spoken recently about the challenges of coaching Test-ready batsmen in the Twenty20 age.
Australia’s most recent Test debutants have struggled with the art of batting time, but Doran, who has Adam Gilchrist as his idol, says the longer-form is his primary focus.
“I’ve always tried to develop that and especially in the off-season that was my main focus. My main goal is to pursue that longer format,” said Doran, a Hills Sports High year 12 student who is yet to play a senior match for NSW.
“If I can get on top of that the other two formats will come because my game play suits those two as well.”
Sheffield Shield fixtures will be largely unaffected by the Chairman’s XI clash, with a largely developmental side selected for the tour match sitting in between the first and second Tests.
Team: Michael Beer (capt), Steve Cazzulino, Jake Doran, Marcus Harris, Michael Hill, Alexander Keath, Josh Lalor, Alister McDermott, James Muirhead, Kane Richardson, Luke Robins, Ashton Turner
By Ben Horne (AAP)