Wrist spin has been the flavour of limited-overs cricket over the last couple of years, and all top cricketing nations at least have one good leggie in their XI.
Yet Australia, despite having a good one in their midst in Adam Zampa, have been reluctant to give him a sustained run in the team. Zampa was also left out of the XI in the ten-over slogfest last week against South Africa, which Australia lost by 21 runs.
In the first T20I against India, Adam Zampa once again showed the kind of value he can add to the Australian limited-overs bowling attack, especially in the middle overs.
When he was brought on the bowl by Aaron Finch, the game was in balance with India in the ascendancy. Zampa mixed pace and variations brilliantly to not only put breaks on the scoring but also pick up the crucial wickets of Indian captain Virat Kohli and dangerous KL Rahul to finish with 2/22 in four overs.
It was a brilliant spell when you consider the control he had pitching the ball exactly where he wanted despite bowling with a wet ball.
Zampa has been dealt unfairly over the last few years. Leg spinners are an attacking option in the shorter formats but at the same time can be taken for runs as well on these flat wickets. The captain and the team management need to understand the same and keep the faith on the spinner to deliver matchwinning performances.
(AAP Image/SNPA, John Cowpland)
Adam Zampa’s T20I record is phenomenal. He has 21 wickets at 18.09 at an economy rate of 6.03. His ODI record pales in comparison, but I would put that down to the stop-start career he has had so far in that format.
Zampa has never had a consistent run in ODIs, and even when he has played he averages only seven overs a game. This means that he has not been allowed to complete his quota in many of the 33 innings he has bowled in.
Steven Smith particularly was extremely poor in handling spinners in limited-overs games and often took the young leggie out of the attack as soon as the opposition went after the spinner. Leg spin is a difficult art and the bowlers need confidence and patience from their captains.
Aaron Finch needs to keep that in mind, as with the right amount of backing and confidence Zampa will provide the edge the Australian team so badly needs to put their world cup campaign on track.
Adam Zampa is a must in the Australian limited-overs set-up. I hope Aaron Finch and the team management realise the same. This is time to back him and give him a consistent run in the team, as with world cup around the corner, he needs to play as many games as possible.
For most of the first decade of the new century and millennium I was a TESOL teacher, mostly in Jakarta, but also nearly one year in Brisbane, almost to the end of 2008. TESOL stands for ‘Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages’ and it is pretty big business.