T20 World Cup 2022, cricket news: Who is Tim David, feature, backstory, rise to Australian team, replacing Steve Smith

Home » T20 World Cup 2022, cricket news: Who is Tim David, feature, backstory, rise to Australian team, replacing Steve Smith
T20 World Cup 2022, cricket news: Who is Tim David, feature, backstory, rise to Australian team, replacing Steve Smith

Any young cricketer gets told to keep the ball down.

“You can’t get caught if you hit the ball along the carpet,” the old saying goes.

Well, Tim David breaks every rule in the game – and it is what has seen him come from the clouds to break into Australia’s XI for the T20 World Cup and force Steve Smith out of the side.

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“Well, I was comparing mine to Smudge’s the other day, so his is obviously quite closed but mine bat face is open – it helps me hit the ball in the air,” he told Fox Cricket ahead of Australia’s third and final T20 against England.

“It just feels normal for me, but it’s quite open.

“It helps me hit the ball around the wicket. Some guys hold it differently but that’s my way.”

Welcome to the new age of cricket, where sixes are the currency cricket franchises are now dealing in.

David, 26, has yet to play a first-class match and in many ways has followed the same path to stardom as David Warner, who burst onto the world stage by smashing Dale Steyn at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Within a year, Warner was given a baggy green and it was not long after that he made his mark against the red ball by joining a rare list of cricketing greats by carrying his bat against New Zealand in Hobart.

Warner, arguably Australia’s greatest T20 specialist and was the fastest to 5,000 runs in the Indian Premier League, says David is a “godsend”.


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“Now he’s in our team and our set-up, it’s a godsend,” Warner said after David belted a 20-ball 42 against the West Indies in Brisbane.

“He’s an incredible player. Has some serious power, so it boosts our middle order, and to come out and play like that and with his height as well, and strength, it suits us, that’s for sure.”

His journey is unique, having flown under Australia’s radar, dodging all of the nation’s conventional pathways, only to reach the top anyway.

Instead of walking the well-trodden path, David looked elsewhere from a young age and made his international debut for his birth nation, Singapore, in mid-2019.

David’s home state of Western Australia had somewhat overlooked the player, who only played for the state’s second XI, and only found his way into the Perth Scorchers as a replacement player.

David was given a state rookie contract by WA in 2018-19 but was ultimately cut without playing a game for the senior team, leading to his decision to focus on shorter formats.

The Hobart Hurricanes were aware of David from his time at the Scorchers, and monitored his performances for Singapore before deciding to take a gamble on the all-rounder.

In Hobart, David proved to be a strong performer, albeit still far from a household name.

Nonetheless, international franchises took notice over the 2021-22 season — and David’s life was about to change forever.

David went on to blaze his way through the Pakistan Super League, T20 Blast, Caribbean Premier League and IPL, proving that playing first-class cricket is by no means the only way to the top.

“It’s popular for it to be framed that way but for me I’ve been about playing as much cricket as I can,” said David almost with a hint of frustration that he’s thought of as an out-and-out T20 mercenary.

“I’ve had opportunities in T20 cricket and I guess that’s where my skill-set has been suited so far, so we’ll see what happens.”

What separates David is his unique ability to hit a long ball.

In this year’s IPL, no-one with more than 100 runs scored at a faster rate than the Singapore-born international, with the right-hander smashing 186 runs at 37.2.

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It is what caught the eye of Ricky Ponting, with the three-time World Cup-winner saying David is a match-winner, comparing him to the late Andrew Symonds.

“It was only a couple of seasons ago he was struggling to get a game in the BBL and now he’s one of the more sought after T20 batsmen in the world,” Ponting told foxsports.com.au.

“I saw up close in person in the IPL this year, some of the impact he had on a few of those games (was devastating).

“In every tournament he’s played he’s continuing to get better and better, and I equate him to a bit like Andrew Symonds actually for the 2003 World Cup.

“I reckon if you get him in and give him a go, he’s one of those guys who could actually not just win you one or two games, he could actually win you a tournament, so that I’m sure they’re thinking about him.”

He has taken that hard-hitting into the international area, where he scored a superb 27-ball 54 in India.

He followed that special innings up with superb knocks against the West Indies (42 off 20) in Brisbane and 40 off 23 against England in Canberra.

In and around the innings, David has fallen cheaply.

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His soft dismissals on the Gold Coast and Perth highlighted the flaws in David’s game, but the well-spoken dashing batter says his approach is a balance of risk and reward.

“It’s really important to have that intent every time I bat,” he said.

“That can mean sometimes I get out in the first few balls, but if I walk out to the crease and I’m trying to take 10 balls to get in, then it’s not going to help the team.

“I don’t want to say it’s selfless, but it’s my job to be aggressive to try and keep the game moving forward. Fortunately, sometimes it comes off.”

Case in point was during Australia’s match against the West Indies, where David helped power the home side to a competitive total.

David came to the crease at 4-100, but in reality the momentum had changed because Australia had lost 3-5.

Within two overs, having nurdled the ball around, David chose his moment to strike and hit a six straight down the ground.

“That takes a bit of courage,” former opener turned national selector Mark Waugh said on Fox Cricket at the time.

“They’ve just lost three quick wickets, he’s come in, we thought he might knock it around. A lovely straight shot. He’s just powerful isn’t he? Long levers. Brave shot but a good one.”

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Similarly in Canberra, having fallen to a soft dismissal in Perth days earlier, David helped bring Australia back from the dead as he rapidly moved his way to 40 off 23 before being bowled by a superb piece of bowling from Sam Curran.

David didn’t see Australia home, but he gave the home side a chance when the match looked lost.

That is why he is in Australia’s World Cup XI and forced one of the best batters in the world to take a backseat.

“He’s just booked his ticket into the side. He’s in. There’s no doubt about it anymore. Book him in wherever you want, number six, number five,” Waugh said earlier this month as he took 20 off one Obed McCoy over.

Now, having taken the long route to the international game, David will get the chance to become a household name in Australia.

By doing so, he might just change the way the game is played and taught.

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