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KFC T20 INTLS V SRI LANKA

Zampa again justifies spinner's place

23 February 2017

Laura Jolly, at the Adelaide Oval


@JollyLauz18

Laura Jolly, at the Adelaide Oval


@JollyLauz18

Leggie admits "frustration" of Geelong omission motivated him, restating his case as a must-pick in Australia's T20I team

The frustration of being dropped for Australia's second KFC T20 against Sri Lanka drove Adam Zampa to a player-of-the-match performance, the leg-spinner has revealed.

Zampa was a shock omission from Sunday's second match in Geelong, which Sri Lanka won to seal the three-match series, despite bowling well to take 2-26 in the series opener at the MCG.

Quick Single: Australia pick up consolation win

But he bounced back in style at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday night, taking 3-25 including the key scalp of player-of-the-series Asela Gunaratne, to help Australia to a consolation victory.

Zampa satisfied after impressive return

"It's always nice to come back and feel like you've put in a performance that you were thinking of over the last few days, after the frustration of not playing the last game," Zampa said following Australia's 41-run win.

"You always pump yourself up to put in a good performance the next game after being dropped, so it's nice to get a few wickets."

Stand-in captain Aaron Finch explained after the second T20 that Zampa's omission was based on the wet conditions at Kardinia Park, which could have made the ball difficult to grip for the wrist-spinner.

But the fact Australia lost the match and the series while he was sitting on the sidelines made his absence hurt even more, according to Zampa.

Quick wrap: Australia pick up consolation win

"It did (hurt) this time," the 24-year-old said. 

"Because I felt like I could have made a different to that game in Geelong.

"It's always easier when (the other bowlers) get early wickets, coming in and bowling when it's three or four down and they have to keep scoring, it makes my job a lot easier.

"But I feel like I can play a role no matter what the situation is."

Quick Single: Zampa axing a 'kick in the guts'

Zampa finished the series as Australia's equal-highest wicket taker despite only playing two of the three matches, taking five scalps at 10.20 with an economy rate of 6.3.

Australia avoided a series whitewash in Adelaide, winning their first T20I on home soil since November 2014 in the process.

Zampa explained stand-in Australia coach Justin Langer's message to the team had been to enjoy themselves in the dead rubber.

Watch all eight sixes in Australia's innings

"I feel like the boys would be a little bit frustrated with how well we played tonight, knowing the series is behind us now and we could have played that well the whole series," he said.

"JL said to a lot of the guys, 'this might be the last time you ever play for Australia', with a few guys coming back in because of the India tour … 'so just make sure you have a bit of fun out there'."

Quick Single: Complete failure to learn lessons: Lanning

With the home international season now done and dusted, Zampa is setting his sights on success for South Australia when the next round of the Sheffield Shield season gets underway on Saturday. 

After being overlooked for the Qantas Tour of India in favour of 23-year-old uncapped leg-spinner Mitch Swepson, Zampa hopes he can force his way to the top of the wrist-spinners' pecking order with success in first-class cricket.

Sheffield Shield: Zampa corrals Bulls in November

"I feel like I've been bowling really well for the Redbacks," he said.

"I'm trying to keep it simple, it's been really nice with Chadd Sayers and Kane Richardson getting so many wickets. 

"I bowl at some good times, at the lower order, so I'm trying to take that opportunity in Shield cricket as much as I can, when I can.

"Sometimes I don't play a role at all because we're bowling teams out for 120, so I'm just trying to do what I can really.

"Hopefully I get an opportunity to take those big bags of wickets, but it's a bit hard when Chadd Sayers and Kane Richardson (are dominating), with now Dan Worrall is back this game and he's going to be an absolute nightmare with the Dukes ball, but hopefully I get a few overs in somehow."

About the Writer

@JollyLauz18

Laura Jolly is a writer for cricket.com.au. She previously wrote for News Corp Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.