JLT One-Day Cup 2018

Zampa turns focus to ambitious goal

A re-jigged action, new weaponry and challenging northern summer has the leg-spinner ready for the season

Sam Ferris

11 September 2018, 09:13 AM AEST

A winter abroad with the added pressure as an overseas recruit has primed South Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa for the summer as he mounts his case for World Cup selection.

Zampa enjoyed T20 stints with Essex in the UK and Jamaica in the Caribbean where he tinkered with his bowling action, developed a faster googly and was tasked with bowling in batsmen-friendly conditions.

"I think the winter for me was really good," Zampa said today in Adelaide.

"As an overseas player the pressure is on you to do well.

"They're not afraid to give you the ball when sometimes in the Australian team or the Big Bash they probably wouldn't look to give you the ball.

"I found myself in most games I was bowling in pressure situations.

"It tested my mental strength, it tested my technique which is something I've been working on as well."

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He continued: "The grounds in England are quite small and the players, and in the CPL, they're not afraid to take you on.

"They're pretty ruthless players. The pressure was on.

"The CPL was tough. I only bowled (26) overs in nine games but I felt like most of those overs, if they didn't go my way I came back really well which is something I've tried to make my strength in the past."

Zampa was Essex's top wicket-taker with 12 scalps in nine innings, while in the Caribbean Premier League he collected nine wickets in as many matches for the third-placed Tallawahs.

Now Zampa's attention turns from the 20-over format to its 50-over cousin as the Redbacks prepare for the JLT One-Day Cup, which kicks off in Townsville on Sunday.

The tournament is the only domestic one-day cricket between now and the selection of Australia's World Cup squad in the new year, so Zampa is banking on good form in all formats to earn a ticket England in 2019.

"My focus at the moment would probably be the World Cup," he said. "I've had a big couple of years in and out of the one-day team, so my focus is really on the World Cup.

"But for me to get in to that team the (JLT Sheffield) Shield season is going to be really big because there's a big break between the JLT (Cup) and the Big Bash, so continuously bowling and playing good cricket is going to be my only way into that squad."

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Having finished 2016 as the world's leading ODI wicket-taker, the 26-year-old has played in just 12 of Australia's 25 ODIs since as the five-time World Champions slipped to sixth on the official team rankings.

Strong performances in the JLT Cup will go a long way to returning to Australia's ODI team, and the leg-spinner expects the Redbacks to feature at the business end of the competition.

"If we don't give it a serious crack this year there's something wrong," said Zampa, who has been part of the South Australia team that's finished runners-up twice in the past three seasons.

"We've got guys who have come from overseas like Ferg (Callum Ferguson) who is one of the best one-day players in the country. He's smacking the ball at the moment.

"You look down our XI, our bolwing attack is really settled.

"If we don't give it a serious crack there's something wrong."

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