Some candid feedback from a new teammate has sparked a "fired up" Adam Zampa to produce a sharp turnaround in form against India.
Having been surprisingly dumped after just one game of last month's ODI series, Zampa was given a reprieve when his replacement Ashton Agar busted his finger and was forced to return home.
With a bruised ego following his axing, Zampa couldn't make the most of Agar's absence and he finished the ODI series with just four wickets in three games at an economy rate of more than 6.5 runs per over.
But a change of personnel in the squad for the T20 leg of the tour, including the arrival of Tasmanian wicketkeeper Tim Paine, woke the leg-spinner from his slumber and helped spark a crucial spell in Australia's eight-wicket victory in Guwahati.
"Watching from afar in Australia, (Paine) said that I didn't look like my usual self and how I usually am in the Big Bash," Zampa said of the gloveman's feedback after the ODI series.
"He said that competitive side of me (wasn't there).
"I don't like hearing that about myself so I was pretty fired up about that."
Zampa let weeks of frustration out on India's middle order on Wednesday morning (AEST), boisterously celebrating the wickets of IPL teammate MS Dhoni – who was smartly stumped by Paine – and top-scorer Kedhar Jadav.
His spell of 2-19 from four overs came on the back of Jason Behrendorff's match-winning early burst of 4-21 as the Aussies set up a series decider in Hyderabad early on Saturday morning (AEST).
The 25-year-old's axing last month came just a week after Agar, having not played an ODI in more than two years, stated his belief that Zampa was clearly the No.1 spinner in the squad and only a raging turner would open the door for the left-armer to play as a second spinner.
So it came as a surprise to more people than just Zampa when he was left out of the second match of the series at Eden Gardens.
"Your confidence does take a hit," he conceded.
"I've never found myself to be the most skilful bowler in the world, but I like to think that I come back well from setbacks. And my temperament is one of my strengths.
"I probably wasn't bowling at my best ... but to come back feeling confident and get a couple of big wickets, I felt like I bowled really well."
Buoyed by a rare win on what has been a long and frustrating tour, the Aussies are now eyeing off a series win in Hyderabad.
"We spoke last night about improving and getting better, and we felt during the ODIs that didn't happen," Zampa said.
"We've trained really hard, and trained specifically ... and hopefully now we can make it 1-all in terms of having won a series each."