Zampa learning to adjust to local conditions
Australia legspinner Adam Zampa says his first T20I wicket was a breakthrough that got "a monkey off my back" as he continues adjusting his game for Asian conditions. After bowling just one over for three runs in Australia's loss to New Zealand last Friday in Dharamsala, the 23-year-old received a Man-of-the-Match award for his four overs with the ball on Monday which claimed his three first T20 international wickets, for 23 runs against Bangladesh, in his fourth T20I.
"The wickets in Australia don't spin as much, and hitting the wickets over there is crucial," Zampa said after Australia's three-wicket win in Bangalore. "My plans haven't changed as such, but the lengths that you bowl here, the players can hit it in different areas than they do in Australia. That's something I'm trying to get used to quickly.
"The ball sticks in the wicket a bit here, as we've seen tonight. It's a little bit slow off the pitch and my first wicket was a pull shot hit to deep midwicket. In Australia that ball would probably skid on to leg stump, and it's harder to play those shots. So the length that you bowl is crucial. You use changes of pace as well over here. Generally if you change your pace in Australia, you get smacked over your head."
Prior to making a move to South Australia for the start of the 2013-14 domestic season, Zampa's early experiences learning his craft at state level came through the New South Wales team alongside Steven Smith under the captaincy of Steve O'Keefe. Smith has prioritised batting over his legspin in recent years, but Zampa said their shared past created an understanding between the two players.
"I work really well with Steven. He's been really good for my game since I was a young guy, so to have him standing there at cover all the time is really nice. I haven't changed anything at all. My plans are pretty simple, and to have him there in the back of my ear to reassure me is nice."
Zampa defended the loss of four middle-order wickets in quick succession during his side's successful chase of 157. Australia had been cruising at 119 for 3 - with 38 runs needed in 35 balls - but a mild rash of jitters appeared as David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh and John Hastings all got out within 22 balls.
Zampa said Australia had not spoken about running down the target quickly in order to improve their net run rate, though victory was achieved with nine balls to spare.
"When you're chasing those totals you can afford to take those risks at the end," Zampa said. "That's what we did, and it didn't pay off for us tonight. The wicket was quite nice. It was holding up a little bit. We were a bit disappointed at giving away that many, but we were pretty confident with chasing it.
"We still won with nine balls to spare, so it was a pretty convincing win, I think. But it's also something that we've spoken about recently - the middle-overs batting. It's something that we didn't really do quite well against New Zealand, and we haven't done it well tonight either. It's something we will probably speak about."
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando