Adam Zampa will begin his push for a Test debut next year, with a rare Sheffield Shield appearance confirmed for Thursday.
With the Aussies set to do battle with the West Indies in the first Test beginning on Wednesday, Zampa will be plying his trade for NSW in what will be the leg-spinner’s first Shield game since 2019.
The 30-year-old has become Australia’s premier white-ball spinner in recent years, bowling the side to World Cup glory last year and taking over 200 wickets across both ODIs and T20Is.
Zampa’s first-class record doesn’t jump off the page, but his continued growth and maturity within the national team set-up will bode well for his chances of a Baggy Green when Australia tour India in February.
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Speaking to Fox Cricket last week, Zampa spoke of his desire to take his game to the next level in the Test arena.
“My dream is still to play Test cricket,” he said.
“I feel like my game has evolved enough in the last few years. It’s just about seeing the workloads and how my body will cope really.
“I’d love to throw my hat in the ring.”
Zampa’s busy white-ball schedule for both Australia and in domestic T20 leagues has seen him miss out on Shield cricket for the past few years, but his return for the Blues could be a sign of things to come.
Australia have used Mitchell Swepson as the second spinner behind Nathan Lyon in sub-continent series this year, but there is a belief that Zampa could be promoted to the squad if he can impress with the red-ball this summer.
NSW head of elite male cricket Michael Klinger believes the experienced Zampa will bring plenty to the NSW outfit in a must-win match with Victoria.
“It’s rare that Adam is available for Sheffield Shield, given his taxing white ball schedule but he has this week free and has always maintained his desire to play red-ball cricket,” he said,
“For us to be able to bring in a player of his calibre and experience is a welcome one.
“Toby Gray is unlucky to miss out after a strong debut last week but he is a young guy who will look to get more chances as his career develops.”
Adam Zampa has been named in our 13-player Blues squad for this week’s clash against Victoria at Junction Oval 🏏
— NSW Men’s Cricket Team (@CricketNSWMen) November 28, 2022
Zampa will join the likes of Sean Abbott, Chris Green and Jason Sangha in the Blues squad.