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SA laud Zampa ahead of World T20

11 March 2016

Rookie set to be a trump card for Australia as they head to India for World T20

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa looms as Australia's trump card in the ICC World T20 after another impressive performance was praised by South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.

Zampa was frugal and fearless in Wednesday's series-clinching win over the Proteas, finishing with figures of 0-23 from four overs to prevent the hosts from posting a second mammoth total on the trot.

"He bowled really well," du Plessis said on Wednesday. "I was really impressed with his consistency. 

"Obviously he's got a lot of variation, but his main objective was to just land a ball on a good length and keep it away from us to hit it."

While he's yet to take a wicket in his fledgling T20 career for Australia, Zampa has displayed the temperament and the tricks needed to succeed at international level.

On a slow Newlands pitch that offered assistance to spinners, the 23-year-old consistently troubled South Africa's left-handers with a wrong 'un that gripped and bounced.

It's that disparity between deliveries that separates wrist-spinners from orthodox finger-spinners, and why du Plessis believes Zampa can win games for his side in the same manner as South Africa's champion tweaker Imran Tahir.

"It's exciting to see they (Australia) have also got a really good leg-spinner," du Plessis added.

"I feel that in T20 cricket you need a leg-spinner. 

"It's worth gold if you have a guy who can spin the ball both ways. 

"Imran, as you've seen with us, he's been a match-winner for us for so long."

WATCH: Zampa shines in the BBL|05 final

Zampa says his accuracy and competitiveness are his biggest strengths, but when it comes to bowling to international-calibre batsmen, he tries to keep it tight rather than go for the miracle ball.

"Against these players as soon as you give them anything, on these grounds, with the bats they use, it generally goes over the fence," Zampa said. 

"I try and work out other ways to get them off strike and make them to play a rash shot and not think about bowling a ripping leg-spinner. 

"There are other ways around it which I've done for the past few years."

Australia have favoured wrist-spin in the past editions of the showpiece T20 tournament.

In 2012 in Sri Lanka and two years ago in Bangladesh, evergreen chinaman Brad Hogg was the primary spinner before Perth Scorchers leggie James Muirhead replaced the veteran for the back end of the 2014 campaign.

Following that disappointing tournament in Bangladesh, in which Australia failed to progress from the group stage, both Hogg and Muirhead were dropped and Hobart Hurricanes leg-spinner Cameron Boyce given an extended run in the national team.

But a solid season with the Melbourne Stars and a one-day international debut in New Zealand last month saw Zampa leapfrog his fellow leg-spinner at the final hurdle and into Australia's 15-man World T20 squad.

WATCH: Zampa claims two wickets on debut

"I'm always pretty confident in myself," Zampa said. "But it's always nice to start well and that's what happened in New Zealand. 

"I've done pretty well the last couple of years in this format (T20)

"So I'll always be pretty confident but you just never know so it's good to actually contribute and do quite well."

With only four international games under his belt, Zampa has shown a cool head under pressure and says he can't wait to get to the subcontinent.

"I don't really get nervous until I'm walking out on the field or have to bowl," he said. 

"At the moment it's just excitement. I'm pretty excited about going to India. 

"Obviously South Africa was a nice little warm-up, it was good to get the series win. 

"It's exciting, very exciting."

About the Writer

 @samuelfez
@samuelfez

Sam Ferris is a writer for cricket.com.au. He started in 2011 as a Big Bash League correspondent and continues to monitor the domestic scene and national sides closely.

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