Australia relies on the Singapore-born ‘total package’ in T20 defence

Australia are banking on a Singapore-born rookie power-hitter who will help them defend the Twenty20 World Championship on home soil later this month. Lanky right-hander Tim David had knocked on the door with a string of outstanding performances on the global T20 circuit, including in the Indian Premier League and England’s T20 Blast. David has become one of the most sought-after finishers in the game and Australian skipper Aaron Finch said it would be a no-brainer to include him in the squad for a home tournament where conditions are expected to favor batsmen.

“He’s been in great form over the last few years,” Finch said of 26-year-old David, whose rise to fame really began last year when he had a breakout season with the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League.

“His power is really impressive in the first place, but he’s the whole package with some handy off-spin-overs and (also) good on the field.”

David, who is 1.96m tall, played 14 T20 for Singapore but was able to switch allegiances because he has Australian parents.

He was due to play for Australia earlier this year when Sri Lanka was touring for five T20s but he had already been picked up by Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League when he got the call from Chief Selector George Bailey.

“At no point did I really think about being selected for Australia… because I thought they won the World Cup three months ago and that was still a really strong team,” he said recently.

Ultimately, Bailey decided it would be better for David to play in Pakistan than possibly carry the drinks to Australia.

It proved to be a good call as David continued to build his reputation by hitting 278 runs in 11 matches with a phenomenal strike rate of 194.40.

This led to him being picked off by Mumbai Indians at the 2022 Indian Premier League auction where he faced 86 balls and smashed 16 of them for six.

Right at home

He finally made his Australian debut in India last month, hitting a first T20 in half a century with just 25 balls.

“It’s nice to start well in a new team,” said David. “It’s nice to feel like I landed on my feet.

“Just being with a lot of guys that you play against or play with (before), so it doesn’t feel like a big step up.”

Australia’s problem is fitting him into a side that, bar spinner Mitchell Swepson, is unchanged from the side that defeated New Zealand by eight wickets in the United Arab Emirates last year to win the World Cup.

Finch and fellow veteran David Warner appear safe to open the batting, with Mitchell Marsh at three.

That leaves four, five, six and seven to be filled by Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade in the UAE.

Finch has offered few hints as to who could make room for the opening game against New Zealand on October 22 in Sydney, but confirmed David would appear in the middle order if selected.

“He’s become really consistent in that role, which is really difficult for a finisher player, a power hitter,” Finch said. “I think that would be the role. However, there is a lot of flexibility in our squad.”

Despite Swepson being dropped, Australia still have three spinners on hand in Adam Zampa, Ashton Agar and Maxwell.

Promoted

Their pace attack is again led by Test captain Pat Cummins and teammates Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc along with Kane Richardson.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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