Tim David earns Australia call for T20 World Cup

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Tim David has been included in Australia’s squad for their T20 World Cup title defence next month in a move that could represent a significant shift for the game.

David will also tour India for the three T20Is in mid-September which will provide preparation for the tournament and give him his first opportunity with Australia.

David, the Singapore-born middle-order batter who has made a name for himself in T20 leagues around the world, including the BBL, comes into the Australia set-up from outside the national or state contract system. His only current deal in the Australian game is with Hobart Hurricanes and he has previously played 14 T20Is for Singapore.

“He is a highly gifted, natural ball-striker who will add extra batting depth to the group which has had a lot of success in T20 cricket,” national selector George Bailey said. “We expect him to play a similar role to that he has been playing in the past few years.”

He had been in line for a place in the T20I squad to face Sri Lanka last season, but after discussions with the selectors it was decided he would be allowed to take up his deal with Multan Sultans in the PSL where he was guaranteed game time, rather than the possibility of carrying drinks for Australia.

David finished the PSL with 278 runs at 39.71 and an eye-watering strike-rate of 194.40 which further cemented his standing as one of the best finishers in the world. While that tournament was ongoing, he earned a AU$1.5 million deal with Mumbai Indians in the IPL.

“It’s a different journey, there’s no doubt about that which is really exciting,” Bailey said. “It’s unique for a number of things. It’s really challenging for players to just be a franchise cricketer without having a base or a support network. You might see it more and more, but there’s some challenges being just a franchise cricketer as well.” Overall in T20 cricket, he averages 32.48 with a strike rate of 164.12. Of the 11 players to have batted at least 20 times at No. 5 or below in T20 since the start of 2021, David has comfortably the highest strike-rate of 164.56, ahead of Kieron Pollard in second place. Although his form has tailed a little for Southern Brave in the Hundred, after having an impact in the T20 Blast for Lancashire, it was all but inevitable he would be included in the World Cup squad.

“There’s not a huge amount of people who has that ability around the world,” captain Aaron Finch said. “The form that he’s been in over the last couple of years has been outstanding as well. He’s someone who just continues to get better and…his power first and foremost is really impressive, but the overall package with some handy offspin overs and good in the field.”

He is the one change from the group which won the title for the first time in the UAE last year, replacing legspinner Mitchell Swepson with home conditions not demanding a third specialist spinner.

Kane Richardson could have come under pressure from Nathan Ellis who was excellent in the T20 Blast during the English season but he has retained his place as the reserve quick behind Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.