T20 World Cup; Adam Zampa singled out as Australia’s most important player

Australian T20 captain Mitch Marsh is adamant spin star Adam Zampa is not just his team’s most important bowler but its most important player heading to the World Cup despite his Perth horror show where he was blasted for being blasted for 65 runs from four overs.

Zamps returned his worst figures in 77 T20 internationals after West Indian slugger took him for a mammoth 28 runs in the penultimate over of Tuesday’s victory in Perth, including four sixes.

It was a rare rough night for 31-year-old Zampa who conceded more than 50 runs in an T20I innings for the first time ever.

But Zampa’s big tournament bowling has been a key plank in two recent World Cup wins for Australia as the leading wicket-taker in the T20 World Cup triumph in the UAE in 2021, and again in the ODI World Cup in India last year taking 23 scalps.

Selectors are likely to once again back Zampa as the sole specialist spinner for the T20 World Cup to be held in the Caribbean and USA, with off-spinning all-rounder Glenn Maxwell his bowling buddy.

Marsh, who is set to captain the team at the tournament, said one bad night did not reduced the level of trust he will have in Zampa when the big moments arrive in the tournament.

“Any bowler that comes up against that line-up on their day, it’s hard work. He bowled some really tough overs tonight,” Marsh said after the 37-run loss.

“The 19th (over), it’s probably the hardest over.

“We were banking on breaking that partnership at some stage and I held ‘Zamps’ back there but unfortunately, we came off second best.

“‘Zamps’ is by far our most important bowler and probably our most important player in this team.”

The loss, the only defeat of the home summer for the Australians, came without first-choice bowlers Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood who will return to the XI for the three-match series against New Zealand beginning in Wellington next Wednesday.

That series will also see the return of Travis Head to the top of the batting order, and looms as the man most likely to open with veterans David Warner.

Josh Inglis partnered Warner in the opening two T20s before Marsh himself had a go in Perth. But the skipper said he would likely roll back down a spot.

“I’ll be probably back three if ‘Heady’ comes back into the team,” Marsh said.

“To be honest, I didn’t have much of a say in that (opening), it was just the line-up that we wanted to go with.

“I’ve opened a little bit over the last 12 months and loved it.

“I think in New Zealand, I’m no selector, but I daresay Heady will come back in and we’ve seen how dominant they (him and David Warner) can be at the top of the order.”

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