In four balls Tim David “booked his World Cup ticket” as he took 20 runs off Obed McCoy’s opening four deliveries in the 17th over.
Of course David’s World Cup ticket was already booked, but a place in an Australian XI that less than 12 months won their maiden tournament was less assured.
By whacking 20 from four deliveries he raced to 42 off 40 and moved Australia in a position of strength that ultimately saw the home side seal a 31-run win to claim the series 2-0.
Only four overs earlier David faced a bigger moment of truth.
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Just as Andrew Symonds played the defining innings of his career when Australia was under pressure in their opening World Cup match – a game the all-rounder probably should not have been afforded – David came to the crease after the home side lost 3-5 to be 4-100.
Nine balls later, having nurdled the ball around, David chose his moment to strike.
Spinner Yannic Cariah, who had kept the over tight and wanted to close it out, tossed the ball up and David played a beautiful checked drive straight down the ground for six. It was technically perfect from a man new to the crease on five from six.
“That takes a bit of courage,” former opener turned national selector Mark Waugh said on Fox Cricket.
“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.”
Back to back boundaries through the backward point region then saw David show a different side to his batting than the bludgeoning, big-swinger on the on-side.
“That’s a touch of class from Tim David,” former wicket-keeper batter Brad Haddin said, as the right-hander followed up his square drive with a lovely late cut.
“If he can get some confidence playing this role, he’s someone that can play a big role for us to win a World Cup. He can take a score from a 160 to a 180-190.”
Soon enough, the conversation moved from who David could potentially usurp.
Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis – key men from their World Cup success a year earlier have barely been sighted but have cash in the bank – while Glenn Maxwell’s struggles continued after being run-out for one.
Steve Smith, who was controversially left out of the opener against the Windies managed just 17 off 16 in an innings worth more than what was showed on the scoreboard given his partnership alongside David, who dominated the strike.
“I’ve got him in my side,” Waugh said. “He’s got to start. I don’t think he’s a certainty but I think he should.
“Who should he leave out? Smith?” Brendon Julian asked.
“He’d be the favourite,” Waugh replied. “Maxwell needs some runs but I would play him. Someone’s going to be unlucky.”
Haddin added: “I think you can only play two of Stoinis, Marsh and Maxwell. You’ve got to decide what two you want to play there, and that gets David in. I don’t think you need Marsh and Stoinis in the same team if you’ve got David there.”
Waugh quite rightly said Stoinis would be given every opportunity given his feats at the last World Cup where, alongside Matthew Wade, was an unsung hero with the bat following crucial knocks against South Africa and Pakistan.
“They like Stoinis. I mean, he did win us a few games in the last World Cup but he just hasn’t played so far,” Waugh said.
Haddin added: “He played that number six role and he was critical with Matthew Wade at the World Cup, they worked together and got us home in the final. Mitch Marsh had an outstanding tournament at number three.”
But in four balls David showcased his incredible skill-set, as took 20 from McCoy.
“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.
David’s innings came after David Warner earlier got Australia off to a flyer by scoring 75 off 41.
Warner described David – the 26-year-old who was born in Singapore and has been dominating T20 competitions around the world in recent years despite not having a first-class contract – as a “godsend”.
“Now he’s in our team and our set-up, it’s a godsend,” Warner told reporters after Australia’s 31-run win.
“He’s an incredible player and he’s got some serious power. It boosts our middle order. With his height as well, and strength, it suits us that’s for sure.
“You saw it there (tonight) – when we lost myself and there’s two new batters in, ‘Maxi’ (Glenn Maxwell) got run out, and he came out to play like that – that’s fearless cricket.
“That’s what we like about our brand at the moment. Everyone’s owning their own space, but when you execute your skill and what you practice, that’s what we want.”
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Warner said Australia’s selectors had a difficult decision to make ahead of the World Cup opener later this month, with three matches against England and warm-up match against India before the tournament opener against New Zealand.
“Each individual has their roles – we’ve got Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell who are our finishers – (so) where does he fit in the line-up and what’s his role?” asked Warner.
“Coming out and playing that role there when it was a hard wicket to start on really opens our eyes to ‘how do we utilise that?’
“But even what he did for Mumbai (Indians, in the IPL), he got a couple of thirties or forties off eight or nine balls – it’s incredible.
“You don’t get these types of players every day.
“It’s going to be good for us moving forward and hopefully there’s a spot there as well, because the selectors have got a headache now.”