Former Australian cricketer Mike Hussey believes spinner Adam Zampa and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will play a crucial role in the team’s bid to clinch the ODI World Cup in India later this year.
Leg-spinner Zampa, 31, was first picked in Australia’s limited-overs squad in 2016 and since then has played 79 ODIs taking 131 wickets.
With Indian conditions expected to favour spin bowling, Hussey believes Zampa would be the go-to bowler for Pat Cummins’ side.
The wrist spinner with a skidding stock delivery played a vital role in Australia’s maiden T20 World Cup triumph in the UAE in 2021, finishing with 13 wickets at an economy rate of just 5.81.
“Adam Zampa could play a big role for Australia throughout the tournament,” said Hussey on Friday. “He has been really good over the last few years.”
The former cricketer added that the confidence with which Marsh is playing, the all-rounder could have an enormous impact on the team’s fortunes.
“And I think Mitch Marsh is someone that can certainly have a big impact. He has been given a great role, batting in the top three now and he is playing with enormous confidence. So, if he gets his confidence up, he can be a really tough man to stop.”
Hussey was part of the Australia side that lifted the 50-over World Cup in 2007 in the West Indies and more recently was part of England’s coaching setup during its winning campaign in the T20 World Cup last year.
He also cautioned that Australia will require the services of seniors like Steve Smith to supplement the efforts of Zampa and Marsh.
“You can’t rely on just one or two key players to win you a World Cup and it’s going to take a collective effort. But I think for Australia to do really well, they need their big guns to really step up and I guess when you think of that, you think of Steve Smith and Pat Cummins.”
The 48-year-old also believes Australia will be leading contenders for the World Cup, scheduled to commence on October 5, as the side has “got a bit of continuity as well”.
“I think Australia’s got a great chance as they have kept a (large) group of players together for a period of time now. They all know their roles pretty well and they’ve got a bit of continuity in their team as well.”
Even though Australia was bundled out of the 2019 edition of the World Cup by eventual champion England, Hussey feels the team’s chances of success are high because it keeps trying to explore new methods to win.
“I think they’ve been trying a few little different things. They performed well in the series (in March) against India in Indian conditions and that will give them enormous confidence coming into the World Cup.” Australia defeated India 2-1 in the three-match ODI series.
Australia was the first to announce its squad for the World Cup, with the five-time champion leaving out star batsman Marnus Labuschagne and including uncapped spinner Tanveer Sangha in the group of 18 players, which will be pruned down to 15 prior to the cut-off date on September 28.
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