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Zampa eager to have Smith back in the team for series finale
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Zampa eager to have Smith back in the team for series finale

Adam Zampa has focused on the importance of "world-class" Steve Smith in the Australian team as the tourists prepare for the final clash of the three-match ODI series against England on Wednesday.

Smith did not partake in the opening two matches owing to fitness woes created by a knock on the head during practice last week.

Smith was rested as a precautionary measure by the team management despite passing two concussion tests.

Australia squeezed out a 19-run win on Friday before slumping to dramatic 24-run loss on Sunday after dominating the contest for a prolonged period.

"It's been disappointing to have him [Smith] miss the last couple of games," Zampa admitted in a virtual press conference.

"He's a world-class player and has that experience as well. It's pretty obvious if Steve Smith is fit he's in most cricket teams. I'd hope to have him back for the third game."

Australia were cantering to the modest 232-run target with Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne setting a solid foundation with a healthy stand between them but subsequent batters found it tough to get going on the sluggish surface.

"Marnus and Finchy played it beautifully, I just think once you lose a wicket after a big partnership like that, it's really hard to start, balls were hitting the toe of the bat and some were hitting the handle of the bat too," Zampa said.

"We were so close to winning the series with a game to spare. When you're watching that happen, it's never easy," he added with a tinge of regret.

England's resilience in the face of being on the backfoot for a majority of the chase has been a regular aspect of their performances across formats in recent times.

Earlier this month, England beat Australia from a hopeless position during the two-run victory in the first T20I at Southampton while they also completed a similarly incredible comeback at the Headingley Test last year in the Ashes.

"It says England are a really, really good cricket team," Zampa mentioned.

"Their one-day cricket over the last four or five years has been unbelievable - they really attack with the bat and do the job with the ball.

"They read conditions really well, the bowlers literally hit the top of off-stump the whole time and they are very disciplined. England are just a really good cricket team and we can learn a lot from them."

Zampa, the leading wicket-taker of the series so far, viewed his consistent heroics with satisfaction and commented on his preference for bowling in pressure situations.

"I really enjoy bowling the death overs, I love those pressure overs, especially when the game's on the line," he said.

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