Pietersen: Picking Zampa for India tour a ‘no-brainer’

“I think if well-managed he can do a really good job for Australia”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen believes that it should be a “no-brainer” for Australia to pick spinner Adam Zampa for their tour of India in February.

Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe are set to be Australia’s go-to spinners in the subcontinent, but there have been mounting calls for a leg-spinner to be drafted into the squad.

Legendary Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne is a fan of Mitchell Swepson, but Pietersen feels that Zampa would be the right choice.

“For me it’s a no-brainer with Zampa just because of his mindset, the way that he’s a competitor and the way that he’d never ever run away from competition or responsibility,” Pietersen said at the Werribee open range zoo, where he was raising awareness of the rhino crisis in Africa. “I think if well-managed he can do a really good job for Australia.”

Swepson is averaging just under 33 with the ball after featuring in 14 first-class matches, while Zampa has taken 62 wickets at an average of more than 50 in 25 first-class matches.

However, Pietersen feels that statistics don’t always tell the full story and added that Zampa has shown that he can succeed in the subcontinent as he has featured in limited overs matches against India and Sri Lanka. In addition to this, he has also played in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

“There’s a lot of players out there who get picked on statistics and there’s a lot of players who get picked on mindset,” Pietersen said. “I’ve seen Zampa’s mindset, I’ve also seen the way that he bowls in tight games when we’ve asked him to get a job done. We asked him to get a job done the other night at Etihad Stadium [for the Stars] and he bounced back and did it.”

When asked about Australia’s chances of beating India on home soil, Pietersen admitted that the Baggy Greens will be in for a tough tour, especially considering that they have only won once since Bill Lawry’s side triumphed in India in 1969.

“I’m not saying by any stretch of the imagination that Australia are going to win in India, because I don’t think they will win in India,” he said. “I’ve just seen what happened to England in India, and they had [Adil] Rashid, who’s a pretty good leg-spinner, they had [Moeen] Ali, who’s a pretty good off-spinner, it just depends on the pace the spinners bowl in India.”

Australia’s four-Test tour of India begins on February 23 in Pune.

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