The cricket world is abuzz with excitement as the highly-anticipated ODI series between India and Australia is set to commence today at the iconic Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali. This three-match series opener will witness KL Rahul leading the Men in Blue, temporarily taking the reins from regular captain Rohit Sharma. Rohit, along with superstar Virat Kohli, all-rounder Hardik Pandya, and spin sensation Kuldeep Yadav, has been given a well-deserved rest for the first two games. They will return for the final ODI.
On the Australian side, Pat Cummins will resume his captaincy duties after a brief hiatus. Cummins was unavailable during the recent Australian tour of South Africa, where Mitchell Marsh took over the leadership in both the T20I and ODI formats. However, Marsh’s leadership stint in the ODI leg did not yield the desired results, as Australia lost the 5-match series 3-2 despite winning the first two games.
Cummins identifies Adam Zampa as the specialist death bowler
Ahead of the series against India, Cummins has identified a key player in his squad who will play a crucial role as a specialist death bowler. Cummins expressed his confidence in leg-spinner Adam Zampa‘s ability to contain runs and pick up vital wickets during the crucial death overs. It is worth noting that Zampa is coming off the dreadful performance of his ODI career, conceding 113 runs without taking any wickets against South Africa in the 4th ODI.
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Cummins highlighted Zampa’s effectiveness at not only slowing down the run rate but also his knack for taking wickets in the death overs. Cummins stated in the pre-match press conference, “Zamps, he’s effective at not only keeping the run rate down but he can take a couple of wickets at the death, which is really important as well and sometimes it’s a bit harder for pace bowlers to do that. I wouldn’t be surprised if we keep two, three, or four overs up our sleeve with him.”
Zampa’s impressive record at the death
For those unfamiliar with Zampa’s prowess, he has established himself as a formidable force at the death, picking up 17 wickets in the final 10 overs since the ODI World Cup in 2019. Remarkably, he surpasses even Pat Cummins, who has taken 12 wickets in the same period, and Mitchell Starc, who has claimed 9 scalps.