Cricket: Australian spinner Adam Zampa pushes for 2023 Test call-up

It’s been three years since Adam Zampa played a Sheffield Shield game and nearly a decade since he last did it for NSW.

But throughout that absence from red-ball cricket, the Australian spin star’s Test dream never evaporated and that’s why he wants to put his white clothes and baggy blue cap on again next week.

Zampa, who has been feeding his cricket ambitions with a constant diet of limited overs games as Australia’s first-choice white-ball spinner, has indicated he wants to play for NSW against Victoria next week with one clear goal in mind.

Having been raised as a potential Test tourist when Australia goes to India next February, Zampa is desperate to showcase his long-form skills.

“My dream is still to play Test cricket,” he told Fox Cricket on Tuesday night.

“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 is coming from a long way back, needing to leap over both Mitch Swepson, who played in Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2022, and even Ashton Agar to potentially partner Nathan Lyon under a baggy green cap.

Swepson took 10 wickets in his four Tests across the two series, eight of them coming in Sri Lanka, and he also took eight wickets in the opening Shield match of the season for Queensland.

Zampa’s 105 first-class wickets for first NSW, then South Australia, before returning to NSW, have come at 48.26 runs each.

But Zampa, 30, does have a 10-wicket match haul on his red-ball resume, an indication his skillset stands up in the longer form of the game.

He also has loads of experience on the subcontinent, particularly in India where he’s taken 31 wickets in 22 internationals, albeit limited overs games, and 14 wickets in the IPL.

Former national selector Mark Waugh was less enthusiastic about Zampa’s chances, declaring he “needs to do more than play one Shield game” to push his claims.

The clash with the Vics at the Junction Oval is the last Shield game before the Big Bash break and so the last before the Australians head to India in February for the four-Test series.

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