Steve Smith remains supportive of spinner Adam Zampa despite the leggie finishing with the worst figures of his one-day international career in ‘s loss to England at the MCG on Sunday.
After a bright start to his international career in 2016, Zampa has been used sparingly by ‘s one-day selectors in the past 14 months, with Ashton Agar temporarily picked ahead of Zampa during the one-day series in India in September and October last year.
Zampa last week described that axing as a “wake-up call” but having been given the nod for Sunday’s first ODI against England he was punished, taking 0-72 from his 10 overs. He claimed the wicket of English opener Jason Roy for 91 but the lbw call was overturned on review, allowing Roy to continue on his merry way, eventually making a record-breaking 180 from 151 balls to lead the tourists to a five-wicket win with seven balls to spare.
Zampa’s ODI bowling average since the start of 2017 has ballooned to 48.2, with an economy rate of just under 6.4.
are in the process of bedding down their plans ahead for next year’s World Cup in England. The selectors have shown a readiness to field ODI XIs without a recognised frontline spinner, relying on part-timers Travis Head, and before his axing Glenn Maxwell, to fill any need for spin.
Agar has clearly been in the selectors’ thoughts, while Ashes hero Nathan Lyon is also lurking after an outstanding 2017 in Test cricket. The nation’s most successful Test off-spinner has only been an occasional choice in ODIs, playing the most recent of his 13 ODIs in August 2016.
Lyon’s ODI record is middling, with 17 wickets at 34.82 and an economy rate of just under five, although he took nine wickets at 27.22 in the JLT one-day domestic series at the start of the season, while both former n captain Michael Clarke and ex-n bowling coach Craig McDermott have suggested in recent months that Lyon has been unlucky not to get more opportunities in ODIs.
Lyon has spoken of his desire to return to the one-day team. Emerging leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson is another who has been on the selectors’ radar.
n captain Smith said after Sunday’s defeat that Zampa – who has a reputation for being resilient – could take some confidence from the way he bowled despite his unflattering figures. “Zamps, I thought, bowled reasonably well,” Smith said.
“Bit of luck here and there, ball just went over one of our fielders for six, had an lbw that was not out in the end. I thought he bowled pretty well, so I’m sure he’ll gain some confidence from that.”
Zampa rejoined an n team that has now lost eight of its last nine completed matches. He is also coming off an underwhelming first half of the Big Bash League season with the Melbourne Stars.
‘s attack was battered by Roy and Joe Root (91 not out), with Smith lauding England for their aggressive method. “England’s got to be up there as one of the best teams in the world in one-day cricket at the moment,” he said.
Zampa wasn’t the only n bowler to cop it from Roy and company in Melbourne, with frontline quicks Mitchell Starc (2-71) and Pat Cummins (2-63) both expensive. Cummins is due to be rested for the second match of the five-game series in Brisbane on Friday, although Josh Hazlewood is set to return from his own rest.
Uncapped quick Jhye Richardson is also in the squad, while fellow West n seamer Andrew Tye was relatively tight on Sunday night, taking 0-43 from 10 overs on debut. Veteran batsman Cameron White is also expected to get a chance at some stage in the series following his recent recall.