Australia’s squad in South Africa is set to switch formats but the prospect of a maiden T20 World Cup title remains firmly on the mind of an increasingly confident playing group.
The Aussies will be looking to continue building momentum when a three-match one-day international series starts in Paarl, near Cape Town.
Saturday’s series opener will be followed by matches in Bloemfontein and Potchefstroom before the squad returns home to play ODIs against New Zealand.
Australia will retain largely the same squad who had defeated South Africa 2-1 in the T20 series.
Marnus Labuschagne and Josh Hazlewood have joined the camp and reserve paceman Jhye Richardson has been retained to provide cover if necessary.
“They’re both very similar squads so it’s important to keep that momentum going,” legspinner Adam Zampa said.
“I think we have definitely found a really good combination. The batting side pretty much picks itself, and our bowling combination is really working at the moment.
“If we can play this team mostly going into the T20 World Cup (in October) and play the way that we do, we’re going to give it a serious nudge.”
Zampa has quietly made himself almost indispensable in the shorter formats, despite going in and out of the squads early in his career.
Since his ODI debut in February 2016 against New Zealand, only Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell have played more white-ball cricket for Australia.
“Obviously, you have good games and you have good series and you reflect on that. But there’s definitely no comfort in it at all,” Zampa said.
“We had two really convincing wins in this series but, personally, as someone who hasn’t felt comfortable for his whole career, I’ve already got my mind on the next series.”
Zampa’s willingness to throw himself around in the field and stand up in high-pressure moments haven’t gone unnoticed even outside of cricket.
Having starred in the Big Bash either side of an India ODI tour in which he dismissed Virat Kohli for a fifth time, Zampa was praised on social media for his competitiveness by rugby league coaching great Phil Gould.
“I don’t see myself as the most skilful legspinner in the world,” Zampa said.
“You think of guys like Rashid Khan and Imran Tahir and people like that who are really hard to pick and whatever you want to say about them … I’ve always had to have the edge, something that stands me apart from the really skilful guy.
“I just try and get as competitive as I can, want the ball under pressure and I want to win games for whoever I’m playing for.”
MOST AUSTRALIA ODI/T20 CAPS SINCE FEBRUARY 2016:
Aaron Finch – 102 (65 ODIs, 37 T20s)
Glenn Maxwell – 84 (50, 34)
Adam Zampa – 81 (51, 30)
David Warner – 75 (50, 25)
Steve Smith – 67 (51, 16).