Adam Zampa harbours Test hopes

prv_e7d5a_1472270441Adam Zampa, the Australian legspinner, has spoken of his desires to play Test cricket but believes a debut is a “while off”.

After Australia was humiliated during their 3-0 Test whitewash in Sri Lanka, recriminations ensued with critics believing that the 24-year-old should have played on the spin-friendly pitches. Zampa impressed during the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India early this year, taking five wickets in four matches, to be a shining light in Australia’s disastrous campaign.

Zampa starred in the second One-Day International against Sri Lanka in Colombo taking 3 for 42, staking an early claim to be part of the Test squad to India early next year. Adding to his prospects, Pat Howard, the Cricket Australia executive general manager, said Australia were likely to undergo a “horses for courses” selection policy for the India tour starting in February 2017.

Zampa, who has played 9 ODIs and 6 T20s for Australia, hoped to be part of Australia’s Test calculations but played a straight bat to the hype. “I obviously want to play Test cricket, but I still think I’m a while off that,” Zampa told reporters in Dambulla on Friday (August 26) ahead of the third ODI against Sri Lanka.

Australia has long struggled to find match-winning spinners since the retirements of Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill in the late 2000s, and are desperately searching for a foil to incumbent spinner Nathan Lyon on spin-friendly pitches.Zampa looms as the most talented of Australia’s young spinners and, inevitably, has been likened to Warne, Australia’s greatest ever Test wicket-taker. Beyond the familiar blonde-styled hair, similarities are evident with Warne, as Zampa has a slow, deliberate run-up and seemingly relishes a fight.

Halting Zampa’s Test selection is an eyesore of a first-class average of more than 50. Having only played 22 first-class matches, the South Australian hoped to play more cricket in the white clothes. “I’ve only played four first-class games in the last 12 months or so, so it would be nice to get some red ball cricket under my belt,” he said. “But I just want to keep improving and I feel like the bowler I am now compared to 12 months or 18 months ago, I have improved.

“There was a couple of games where I bowled three overs or four overs the whole game and there was one at the MCG (against Victoria) on a green seamer where I only bowled two,” Zampa added.

“Hopefully some opportunities arise soon.”


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