Kolkata: Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa on Tuesday heaped praise on Mahendra Singh Dhoni and said that the wicket of the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman would be crucial for when the two sides meet in the second ODI of the five-match series at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Dhoni's 79 off 88 was equally effective as that of all-rounder Hardik Pandya who was declared Man of the Match for his two wickets and 83 runs in the series opener in Chennai. That Dhoni's first boundary came only off his 67th ball tells a lot about how he played the situation perfectly and lifted India out of trouble yet again and lifted it to 281 for 7.
The faintest of drizzles for a two-hour period at the end of the innings delayed resumption and left Australia with a revised target of 164 from 21 overs. The visitor seemed caught between the two formats in its chase and managed only 137 for 9 when it ran out of time and eventually lost the match by 26 runs.
"MS is an important wicket and we need to get him early. We could not do that in the last game," Zampa said during the press conference.
"MS has obviously done it for a long time and probably played a lot of innings under pressure like that. The way he has timed his innings in his whole career is probably something that is his strength. To have him as a guide for a young player like Hardik and others in the Indian team is very helpful," he added.
Zampa went for 66 runs from his 10 overs, including 24 off the 37th over of the Indian innings when Pandya hit the leg-spinner for a boundary and three sixes off consecutive deliveries.
"I did not execute how I would have liked to in the over against Hardik. It would have been important to get him off the strike. Probably I bowled three balls too full," said Zampa.
"As soon as you miss against a player like Hardik, it's going to go the distance. Hardik is a very good player," he added.
The 25-year-old further admitted that his side did not bowl well in the middle overs to break that "very important partnership".
"We have spoken on how important it is to start well against a new batsman and probably we did not do that too well in the middle period the other day," said Zampa.
The leggie further stressed on the importance of bowling good length in the subcontinent.
"In Australia you can mess up your length a little bit and you will probably get away with it purely because of the size (of the ground). Here the length is very important," he said....