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Frustrated Zampa spinner calls for more wickets to turn in Australia

Image:-Adam Zampa

Spin bowler Adam Zampa has joined calls for a review of Australia's wickets, saying the drop-in pitches across the country drive slow bowlers out of first-class cricket.

Short format specialist Zampa said that he had rarely encountered a genuine turning wicket in domestic Sheffield Shield matches, apart from the odd occasion on the Sydney Cricket Ground and the "green and patchy" drop-in pitch of the Adelaide Oval.

Drop-in pitches are now being used at most of Australia's major cricket venues barring the SCG and Gabba in Brisbane, and Zampa said they'd "massively" changed the game.

"It's really hard to get a wicket now with any rough that is a four-day turner," the 28-year-old legspinner told reporters in a Tuesday video call.

"(Spin has) was basically taken out of the game now except for perhaps the SCG, for instance-sometimes-if the weather also suits.

"In first-class cricket, we had to play a different role, that is for sure."

Zampa's comments come after Australia batsman and Queensland captain Usman Khawaja voiced similar concerns throughout the weekend, saying he was often reluctant to employ legspinner Mitchell Swepson given the lack of local pitch assistance.

Test spinner Steve O'Keefe retired last month from first-class cricket after failing to win another contract for New South Wales, despite being Shield cricket's most prolific wicket-taker among slow bowlers.

Zampa said that with the introduction of Dukes balls into the Shield, administrators had helped batsmen improve their technique against swing bowling and now spinners need help.

"I don't know if every wicket has to be, but I think there has to be some kind of emphasis on getting spin bowlers back into the game, especially on the fourth day as well," he said.

Zampa was a key player in Australia's one-day and Twenty20 teams but is keen on getting more red ball cricket to boost his hopes of winning a test cap.

He was linked to a move from South Australia to NSW where he was frustrated with his limited chances of doing so.

Zampa declined to comment on his domestic movements with the finalization of state contracts delayed due to the coronavirus.

However, he was more forthcoming about his test ambitions, saying that he hoped to win a spot for subcontinent tours in the coming years, where selectors are more inclined to choose a second spinner along with incumbent Nathan Lyon.

He conceded his modest bowling average of 48.26 in 38 first-class matches probably gave him a few favours at the selectors table, but he felt his short form performances showing his improvement over the last few years.

"It's probably really easy for people to pinpoint me as a weeks-ball bowler over the last couple of years," he said.

Article Edited by | John Heine |

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