Australia have named their 15 man squad for this year’s T20I World Cup which will be played on home soil this year. The side, which will once again be led by Aaron Finch, will be looking to defend the trophy that they won for the first time in Dubai last year when they beat New Zeeland in the final.
One surprise inclusion is that of all-rounder Tim David, who has played for Singapore before but has never previously represented Australia.
Leg spinner Mitchell Swepson, part of the winning squad from last year, misses out though.
The big names return
As expected, the squad is packed full of big names with a batting lineup that includes David Warner, Steve Smith, and Glenn Maxwell.
Meanwhile, test captain Pat Cummins, who was rested for their ODI series against Zimbabwe, returns. And with the likes of Josh Hazelwood, Mitchell Starc, and Kane Richardson, they form a highly-potent bowling attack. Meanwhile, spinner Adam Zampa is also back in the fold after a period of paternity leave.
Who is Tim David?
David, now 26 years old, was actually born in Singapore to Australian parents, although the family returned to Australia when he was two years old following the Asian financial crisis.
Although brought up in Perth, he was eligible to lay for Singapore and he played 14 T20Is for them between 2019 and 2020 averaging 46.5 with the bat. He also bowls off-breaks, which is another string to his bow.
He has established a reputation for himself as a bigger hitter in the shortest format of the game, playing in various franchise leagues around the world.
Indian fans will know him because he played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2021 edition of the Indian T20 league and the Mumbai Indians earlier this season. He made history by becoming the first player from Singapore to play in the tournament.
He has also featured in the Pakistan Super League, the Caribbean Premier League, The Hundred, and his own Big Bash League.
Despite his affiliations with Singapore, under ICC rules he is eligible to play for Australia straight away because of his parents with no need for a qualifying period first.
The selectors say he has been chosen because he adds batting depth and they expect him to play the same way that he does in franchise cricket.
T20I tour of India
Before the World Cup, Australia will travel to play India in three T20Is. The first of those will be staged in Mohali on 20th September with the second three days later in Jamtha. The tour will then conclude on 25th September with the third T20I in Hyderabad.
It has been decided that Warner will not travel to India this time, instead staying at home to focus on his preparations for the summer ahead.
His place on the tour has gone to Cameron Green, who is not part of the World Cup squad, but may be first reserve in case somebody gets injured before the start of the tournament.
Australia’s packed schedule
The Indian tour is squeezed between an ODI home series against New Zealand and then a T20I version against England as all teams involved in this year’s World Cup try to fit in as many matches as possible before the tournament itself starts in seven weeks.
They still have the third of third three match ODI series against Zimbabwe to play, then they have three matches in that format against the Kiwis to play before the focus shifts to T20 cricket.
This year’s World Cup
The World Cup this year will begin with a qualifying competition, which will feature those sides who have come through qualifying tournaments, plus those nations whose current ICC T20I rankings do not merit them earning automatic entry to the Super 12 stage of the competition.
The West Indies and Sri Lanka fall into this category.
The Super 12s
The eight qualifiers have been split into two groups of four and the top two in each group will advance to join those team whose place in the Super 12s has already been assured – Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, England, and South Africa.
Again, those 12 teams will be split into two groups, with each side playing the other on a round robin basis. It has already been announced that Australia will be in the same group as Afghanistan, England, and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, India are in Group 2, where they know they will be pitted against South Africa, Bangladesh and most appealing of all to fans of both nations – old enemy Pakistan.
Having already played each other in the Asia Cup this year, that could be one of several matches between the traditional foes in the months ahead.
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