Bengaluru: Wicket-less in the first three T20Is of his career, Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa is happy to get the monkey off his back after snapping three wickets against Bangladesh in the ICC World Twenty20.
"I hadn't taken a wicket, it was a funny three first games for me. A bit of the monkey off my back, I guess," he told reporters after returning with figures of 3 for 23.
Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa, appeals during the match against Bangladesh. Pic/ AFP
Asked how was it playing in Indian conditions, Zampa said: "It is (the Indian pitches) something I am not used to. Obviously the wickets in Australia don't spin as much, hitting the stumps over there is crucial.
"My plans here haven't really changed a lot. Just the lengths you bowl. It is something I am trying to get used to quickly," he added.
Asked if he was happy with the opportunities captain Steven Smith gave him, Zampa said: "I always want the ball in my hand. But Smithy is a great tactical captain. The ball was reverse swinging and it was hard to hit medium pacers as well.
"I work really well with Steven. He's been really good for me since I was a young guy. So to have him there standing at cover all the time. To have him at the back of the ear to reassure is nice," he said.
Australia were well placed at 95 for one in the 12th over but from there they lost six wickets in 6.3 overs for the addition of 57 runs to put themselves in trouble. Their brisk rate of scoring before the batting collapse saved them from a possible defeat as they huffed and puffed to chase down the target of 157 with nine balls to spare.
Asked about the failure of their middle-order, Zampa said they will need to address the issue in the next matches.
"We still won with 12 balls (nine balls). Pretty convincing, I think. It's also something we've spoken about recently ... the middle-overs batting. That's something we didn't do quite well against New Zealand. Something we didn't do well tonight either. It's something we have to speak about," he said.
"We were pretty confident of chasing 156. We would have been disappointed if we hadn't chased that. When you're chasing that total, you can afford to take a little risk at the end. That's what we did. It didn't pay off for us tonight but we were confident to get a run a ball. You can take those risks," he added.
Zampa lavished praise on Usman Khawaja, who took the game away from Bangladesh with a 45-ball 58.
"He is in great form. Unfortunately I had to see it sometimes in the Big Bash League as well. Some of the plans I had for him in the BBL didn't really work. So when he's facing spin, I am feeling pretty confident in his ability," he said.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza praised Zampa for restricting his side to 156 for five.
"We saw that spinners got a bit of turn and skid, and it was a two-paced wicket. Zampa bowled well. Shakib Al Hasan and Mithun got a good partnership, but he took both of them and put us on the back foot again," he said.
Asked about Mahmudullah batting at No. 6 inspite of being a better batsman, Mortaza said: "We had promoted him to No. 5, but he doesn't feel confident at that number. At No. 6 he has been scoring, so he is comfortable,"he said.
On Khawaja, Mortaza said: "He set the tone and took the game away from us," he said. Bangladesh bowlers Taskin Ahmed, Arafat Sunny were suspended from bowling for suspect actions during the World T20 match against Netherlands. They were also missing Tamim Iqbal due to illness.
Mortaza said, "Losing three players is a big deal. It creates pressure. We tried to forget all of that. That was the intention. I don't know if we succeeded."