Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa on Tuesday said the wicket of former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is very crucial and they will try to get him out as early as possible when the two sides meet again for the second One-Day International (ODI) at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
“MS is an important wicket and we need to get him early. We could not do that in the last game,” Zampa told reporters two days ahead of the second rubber.
Australia lost by 26 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method in the first game in Chennai, after India rode on Hardik Pandya’s all-round brilliance to script a win.
After guiding India to safety with a career-best 83 off 66 balls, the 23-year-old Pandya starred with the ball, picking the key wickets of Australia skipper Steve Smith and Travis Head to allow the hosts take 1-0 lead in the series.
“MS has been there for a long time. The way he timed his innings, in his whole career that has been his strength. For a young player like Hardik, he was the guide at the other end. It was important for us to break that partnership. We couldn’t do that. We’ve spoken about how important it is to strike against new batsman and we could not do that,” the leg-spinner said.
The 23-year-old Pandya meted out special treatment to Adam Zampa, taking the young leggie to the cleaners on three consecutive occasions to get to his third ODI fifty off 48 balls before falling to the same bowler, later in the innings.
“It was important to get Hardik off strike and we couldn’t do that. Poor execution from me, I bowled two balls that were too full. Hardik’s a very good player.
“Getting the length right out here is very important. The last day I could not execute the way I wanted to,” Zampa said.
The 25-year old vowed to fare better against Pandya the next time, adding the only way to get out of such a situation is by getting the player off strike or taking his wicket.
“It was disappointing to get hit in one over like that. but then to get him out eventually did make a difference between 320 and 280. So I guess it’s just how you get out of those situations. If it happens again, I will try and get him out and get out of the situation better,” the Austalian said.
“The most disappointing thing the other day was to get a team for 3 for nothing and then to allow them to get out of that hole. It was tough playing just 20 overs. The wicket was spinning a bit and it was hard to pick the wrist spinners at night.
“The best thing during those situations (Hardik) is to take a deep breath and try and get that player off strike or take a wicket. That can be the difference between 20, 30, 40 runs we are chasing,” he added.
The Aussies started well the other day with Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins shaving off the Indian top order. Zampa said the tourists’ strength is their variety in the bowling attack.
“We’ve got plenty of options. We have variety in our attack and we got quicks as well. They bowled very well to us. Particularly, when you are four down and they got two spinners who are very hard to pick. I think it could have been little bit different if it was a 50-over scenario. I think once it comes down to 20 overs it does become tough,” Zampa said.