ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Zampa's numbers don't tell full story: Maxwell
Allrounder says wickets will come for Adam Zampa after Bangladesh attacked the leg-spinner at Trent Bridge
Louis Cameron in London
22 June 2019, 07:55 AM AEST
Glenn Maxwell, the man who knows Adam Zampa as well as any in the Australian camp, insists the leg-spinner can be a legitimate wicket-taking option at the business end of the World Cup.
Back in the team to face Bangladesh after a two-game absence, Zampa returned figures of 1-68 off nine overs and went for 30 off his last 13 balls as Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah launched a spirited late rear-guard at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
But Maxwell stressed the numbers failed to tell the full story.
"I thought today was the best he's bowled in a while," the allrounder said of Zampa, one of two spinners in Australia’s squad alongside Nathan Lyon.
"At other times he's bowled not as well but still taken wickets.
"That's always been his challenge.
"I'm pretty close to him in the field as well and talking to him and making sure he's still doing his thing. I thought today he did really well.
"Unfortunately, (there were a) couple of big hits off his good balls, which you expect as a spinner. It cost him towards the end of his spell.
"It's just the nature of leg-spin bowling in one-day cricket that some days your best ball goes for six."
Zampa has five wickets for the tournament at an average of 47.20 and an economy rate of more than seven, though spinners have largely found the going tough at venues with modest boundaries and flat pitches.
Coach Justin Langer has admitted he has been taken aback by the triumph of pace over spin during the tournament given the increasing importance of slow bowlers in 50-over cricket since the 2015 World Cup.
But as the British summer progresses and pitches presumably get drier, conditions could swing in favour of spinners.
"I thought he bowled beautifully today and if keeps putting the ball in the right areas he's going to keep getting wickets for us," Maxwell said.
Maxwell played an important role in Zampa's re-emergence as a force in Australia's bowling attack in the lead-in to the World Cup.
Having found himself down on confidence during Australia's five-game one-day tour of India in February, it took some candid words from his Melbourne Stars captain to help put Zampa right.
"Bowling to someone like Virat (Kohli) and he's hitting the ball in all areas – you definitely feel like you're under pressure," said Zampa.
"I actually didn't feel like I was at my best for the first three games. It was Maxi who had a word to me and said, 'good on you for getting wickets, but you're probably not at your best. What have you changed from the Big Bash?'
"It was just preparation and a few things where I was just overcomplicating it. I simplified it.”
2019 World Cup
Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
June 12: Australia beat Pakistan by 41 runs
June 15: Australia beat Sri Lanka by 87 runs
June 20: Australia beat Bangladesh by 48 runs
June 25: England v Australia, Lord's
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston
July 14: Final, Lord's
Sync Australia's World Cup schedule to your calendar HERE
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE