Australia have put forward the squad to defend the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup crown, adding the firepower of a late-over specialist.
In the biggest news surrounding the group, Tim David has been picked by the Australian selectors, formally completing the switch from Associate Member Singapore.
The selection of the hard-hitting all-rounder is the only change from Australia’s all-conquering 2021 T20 World Cup group, replacing spinner Mitch Swepson to give Aaron Finch another option with the bat.
The 26-year-old has been a revelation on the domestic scene, making waves for his power with the bat in death-over situations. The addition of David is a boon for the Australians, who go into the tournament as one of the favourites on home soil.
Speaking to the press from the UK on Thursday, David admits he almost joined the Australian squad in Sri Lanka back in June, though after an eleventh-hour phone call with head of selectors George Bailey, the pair agreed that guaranteed time in the PSL would have been more valuable for David's development.
"I was flying to Pakistan later that day and got the call from George and at that point I didn't know what to do. I thought, they've just won the World Cup and that was still a really strong team.
"To be honest, at no point there was being picked for Australia really something I was thinking about."
Bailey welcomed the new addition of David upon the T20 World Cup announcement, with the omission of Swepson also down to team needs and conditions.
“Tim (David) continues to establish himself with some quality performances in leagues around the world, earning a place in the squad. 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.
“We expect him to play a similar role to that he has been playing in the past few years.
“Mitchell Swepson was unlucky to miss out based on conditions in the UAE at the last World Cup where we planned for tired, spinning wickets compared to what we would expect are good batting conditions along with the larger grounds in Australia."
Australia’s campaign begins in Sydney on October 22 when they take on trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand at the SCG.
The pair met in the 2021 final, where all-rounder Mitch Marsh stole the show with a 50-ball 77* in an eight-wicket win in Dubai.
The No.3 batter is currently nursing an ankle injury, though is expected to recover in time for both the tournament and Australia’s three-match T20I series in India, beginning in late September, as part of their preparation.
On the bowling side, Australia have stuck with the winning formula of last year, with No.1 T20I bowler Josh Hazlewood spearheading the attack.
Australia will tour India for three T20Is from September 21, with one minor change to the squad.
David Warner will stay in Australia as part of a managed period of preparation for a full summer schedule, with Cameron Green to replace the opener.
Australia T20 World Cup squad: Aaron Finch (c), Pat Cummins (vc), Ashton Agar, Tim David, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
THIS IS THE BIG TIME!
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is coming to Australia from 16 October to 13 November 2022.