Cricket 2 years ago

Aussies mull Zampa recall for ODI final

  • Aussies mull Zampa recall for ODI final

    Australian bowler Adam Zampa celebrates after dismissing South African cricketer Wayne Parnell during their Tri-nation series One Day International match at the Warner Park stadium in Basseterre, Saint Kitts, on June 11, 2016. Australia defeated South Africa by 36 runs. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Adam Zampa is on the cusp of a recall for Australia's ODI tri-series final as selectors contemplate their most important decision of the tour.

Zampa, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Scott Boland are battling in Barbados for the last spot in the XI that will face either South Africa or West Indies in the series decider, which starts at 3am AEST on Monday.

Legspinner Zampa is Australia's leading wicket-taker in the series, but was dumped in favour of paceman Boland for their last-start win over West Indies.

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Boland was punished through the middle overs then bowled well at the death to finish with figures of 2-69.

"On the surface we lacked a bit of variation, we looked quite samey," stand-in coach Justin Langer conceded of his attack.

"The strategy was Marlon Samuels ... thrives on spin bowling.

"With some of their bigger batsmen, you've just got to be off a little bit (as a spinner) and they can be so dangerous.

"It was good to play the game on that wicket, now it gives us the best opportunity to pick the best XI for the final."

Australia's lack of a frontline spinner in that virtual semi-final against the hosts was stark.

Part-timer Aaron Finch delivered three overs, while skipper Steve Smith was reluctant to bowl Glenn Maxwell to right-handers Samuels and Denesh Ramdin.

Langer suggested he and on-duty selector Trevor Hohns would weigh up many factors before making a call on Zampa, possibly as late as the morning of the game.

"It's so hard," he said.

"You want the perfect XI. I'm not sure you ever get the perfect line-up, but, certainly after playing the games we've played and getting a feel for the conditions here, we've got a better idea."

Regardless of who complements Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood in the attack, it will be the most important game in their international career.

Zampa made his ODI debut in February, while Coulter-Nile and Boland have played a combined tally of 23 ODIs.

Another four members of the likely XI weren't in the side that won last year's World Cup final, highlighting the ongoing transition.

"This team is trying to put its own print on being a great Australian cricket team," Langer said.

"We've had great success in the past, that means the side has a very proud history. We've got high expectations.

"It counts for little for some of the guys in this team, because they're just getting involved early in their career."

The squad will enjoy a day off on match eve, with Langer admitting they were a bit flat in their final training session.

"They'll be nice and ready for the final," he added.

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