Australia spinner Adam Zampa is dreaming of earning the coveted ‘Baggy Green’ after moving back to New South Wales, where he can sharpen his skills by playing alongside country’s top Test pick Nathan Lyon.
The 28-year-old, who signed a contract with NSW for the upcoming season, is hoping to play more first class games since Lyon is expected to be mostly away on Test duty.
“You’d have to be silly not to aim for Test cricket, and also be silly not to recognise that Nathan has that spot, and solidly for the next three or four years minimum," Zampa was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“If you’re another spinner in the country your best bet is try and play with Nathan so if I can form a relationship with him and play some Shield cricket with Nath, that’s probably the best way for me to get that Baggy Green," he added.
The leg spinner said he’s had several conversations about his role at the new club with NSW coach Phil Jaques, who played a vital role in Zampa’s getting back to NSW after a seven-year stint with South Australia.
“I’ve known Jaquesy for a long time, I played with him at Sutherland as well, so I’ve known him for 15 years. We’ve had honest conversations already about where I sit, in Shield cricket particularly," he said.
“Which is good; I know that I’m not here to play every Shield game, but when I do, to try take every opportunity and if I can play with Nathan, that’s going to be a massive bonus," Zampa added.
Zampa, who made his first class debut with NSW in 2012, will be sharing the dressing room with top cricketers such as Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and David Warner.
Zampa is confident he can improve his game with the red ball as he plays more first class cricket.
“It’s literally just been a lack of opportunity the last few years. I felt three years ago I had one full season of Shield cricket and my game improved a lot.
“But ever since then I’ve basically played a lot of white-ball cricket for Australia and the opportunity just wasn’t there. I haven’t played much red-ball cricket to be honest, so I’m looking forward to it," he added.