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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Australia challenged to ‘find a way’ to fit Tim David on T20I side

Australia are the reigning T20 World Cup champions and have not lost a T20I series this year. But with less than 100 days to go until the home title defense begins, there’s a big question looming over his team. How do they fit Tim David into an established winning team?
David has represented Singapore but is eligible and wants to play for Australia and has spoken with Australia’s national team president George Bailey.
Former Australian player Shane Watson, who was unveiled on Friday as the T20 World Cup Trophy Ambassador for the 2022 tournament in Australia, believes they need to find a way simply because David is too valuable an asset to ignore. .

“I hadn’t really seen much of him until the IPL and seeing what he did is something I haven’t seen in a long time,” Watson said. “For a young guy coming in and just dominating and hitting the ball like I haven’t really seen in the past. So you just find a way.

“It’s tough with Australia being the reigning T20 World Cup champions. But with someone like that, the power he has and his composure, as well as in pressure situations, is something very, very rare.”

Watson saw David up close while he was an assistant coach at Delhi Capitals at the recent IPL. He saw him hit 34 out of 11 to help guide the Mumbai Indians home against the Capitals after they needed 65 out of 31 on one stage. The result meant that Capitals missed the playoffs.
David continued his excellent form at Vitality Blast in England for Lancashire to help them reach the final day. He scored 387 runs with a hit rate of 180 in 15 innings with two impressive half-centurys. Only Alex Hales (193.78) and Rilee Roussouw (189.17) have higher hit rates than those with 200+ runs in the tournament, but they both hit exclusively in the top three, while David only hit twice as many as number 5.
David was not considered for the tour of Australia in Sri Lanka with the selected side ahead of his form run in the second half of the IPL. Australia captain Aaron Finch has been asked repeatedly about David in recent months and believes his time is coming sooner rather than later.

“I think it’s important that this moment comes for Tim,” Finch said. “He’s such a valuable asset. Guys with so much power that they can roll a few overs, they’re good on the pitch, they’re going to fit in a lot of T20 teams. So I think there will be opportunities there, no doubt, especially with the amount of cricket. that will be played for the next three months until the World Cup starts.”

Australia will not play another T20I until September, when they will make a brief 10-day tour of India for a three-match series. These games are split between six home ODIs against Zimbabwe and New Zealand starting in late August, and five home T20Is against the West Indies and England in early October ahead of the World Cup warm-up games before of the tournament.

David’s chance may arise on this trip to India, as Australia’s only three-format hitters, David Warner and Steven Smith, can rest as the Indian series will be played in foreign conditions for the World Cup and both will have big test workloads after the tournament.

World Cup squads will likely need to be named by mid-September, so Australia may need to make an early call, although there is often room for late changes. The other quirk surrounding David is that he is on the cusp of the Australian system without a state contract and has been confirmed in the St Lucia Kings CPL, with that tournament until September, although he is likely to waive that deal if an international call emerges. .

David had a rookie contract with Western Australia for one season in 2018-19 and played a Marsh Cup game for Tasmania last season without a contract. Watson has publicly raised some valid questions about the potential negative effects of picking a player like David for Australia from outside the state system.

But Cricket Australia’s high-performing team doesn’t see this as an issue at the moment and is looking at ways to hire T20 experts in the future without forcing them to forgo franchise cricket to remain tied to the domestic system. David is the most recent case study, but Dan Christian and AJ Tye were chosen for Australia’s T20I side in recent years without a state contract.

Smith appears to be the most vulnerable in Australia’s established line-up. He had 37 and not 27 in Australia’s last T20I against Sri Lanka at Pallekele, but it was the first time he’s scored over 135 in 12 T20I innings since September 2020. But Australia’s hierarchy has a lot of faith in his T20 and I believe it will be valuable under Australian conditions.
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