Leg-spinner Adam Zampa has expressed his frustration at being left on the sidelines for the final two matches of Australia's one-day international series against New Zealand.
The 24-year-old returned 2-66 in the opening Chappell-Hadlee fixture at the SCG and claimed the key wicket of Black Caps opener Martin Guptill, but he spent the last two games watching from the dugout as Australia completed a 3-0 whitewash.
Zampa is the world's leading ODI wicket-taker in 2016, collecting 30 wickets from 19 matches at 27.80 apiece, but that was not enough to spare him the axe as selectors opted for a four-pronged pace attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Faulkner, with Travis Head's improving part-time off-spin providing the slow-bowling option.
Starc (26 wickets), Hazlewood (26) and allrounder Faulkner (24) have impressed with the ball in the 50-over format this year, while injury-plagued paceman Cummins earned a spot on the back of 15 wickets in six games during this year's Matador Cup, and impressed with a bag of four in Australia's in at Manuka Oval.
Zampa has been a consistent performer for the world's No.1-ranked ODI side since making his debut in February and boasts a strike rate of 31.
Zampa, who has nine wickets from three Sheffield Shield matches this summer, was pleased Australia rebounded from their 5-0 loss against South Africa by sweeping aside the Kiwis.
But the South Australian, who will again play for the Melbourne Stars during this season's KFC Big Bash League, remains flummoxed by the selection snub.
"To gain some momentum back after the whitewash in South Africa is always nice, but it's always disappointing personally when you don't really think there's a great reason why you're not playing," Zampa told cricket.com.au.
"I don't know if anyone is going to overtake me, but I'm the (world's) leading wicket-taker for the year at the moment and to have both me and Hasto (John Hastings) on the sidelines feels a bit odd.
Hastings was also left out of Australia's 14-man ODI squad for the series against New Zealand despite being the world's second highest wicket-taker in 2016. The right-arm quick had taken 29 wickets in 15 matches at an average of 24 this year and was also shocked at his omission.
Zampa added: "The selectors said to me that I'd been bowling well and I bowled well in the first game at the SCG, too. So I don't really know (why I was dropped), I didn't really get the feedback that you would like to try and improve on.
"So I guess if they think I'm bowling well there's not really much else I can really do."
Australia will tackle eighth-ranked Pakistan in a five-match ODI series, starting on January 13, and Zampa is hopeful of earning a recall. And he believes variety was crucial in Australia's bowling line-up.
"For some reason we have an obsession with these 150-kilometre-an-hour quicks, and it makes sense to have those guys in the side. You're always going to pick them," Zampa said.
"But to have those guys in the side who are always going to get early wickets, it's always going to make my job easier. I think to have a leg-spinner to complement the guys bowling 145 clicks, I think is the perfect scenario.
"I think I'm going to be in the squad (against Pakistan). I don't think I've done anything wrong to not get in the squad at least. I want to be able to prove that I can do it here. I've done it on Australian wickets before.
"I'm looking forward to the Pakistan series but it's always disappointing not to be playing."
Zampa, who is in the formative stages of his international career, said the pressure was the biggest difference between state level and the elite ranks.
He has also shone in the Twenty20 format and grabbed 12 wickets – the equal fourth most in the competition – in BBL|05.
Zampa has played eight T20 internationals, bagging nine victims at 17.88.
"It's obviously a lot tougher playing against those teams, teams like South Africa are unbelievable," he said of the step up to international level.
"You've just got to do it day in, day out. There's no rest. I wouldn't say it's less relaxed than playing domestic cricket, but there's just a lot more pressure.
"I think I actually thrive under that pressure. I bowl my best, for example, I think I'm a really good death bowler. I've shown that before in the BBL and the IPL."
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