Tim David 'working really hard' on his legspin

Tim David during a practice session Getty Images

In the first round of the T20 World Cup 2024, when a lot of cricket was played in the USA, the fast bowlers held sway. Now, with the show moving fully to the West Indies, spin is more likely to be the dominant force, and Tim David is preparing for that: with bat, and with ball.

Ahead of Australia's first Super Eight game, against Bangladesh in Antigua, David, a big-hitting finisher and part-time offspinner by trade, said he has been trying out legspin over the past few months, hoping to give his side another option should they need it.

"It just gives you options as a match-up. I started bowling legspin in nets about nine months ago, and they came out really well," David, who is yet to get a chance to bowl at this World Cup, said. "So just been working really hard on it. And to be honest... I really enjoy bowling. It's more fun in the game than just sitting there for 20 overs in the field."

Australia's frontline spinners, Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa, have been working with David on his bowling. "It's been really good to bowl with Ash, [and] bowl with Zamps when they're around in the nets, [and] rub ideas off them," David said. "There's [also] bowling coaches, and it's really good to get different ideas from people. But again, it's about what works for me and [about] finding my own method."

Australia are grouped with Bangladesh, India and Afghanistan for the Super Eight, so they are wary of it being a trial by spin. Bangladesh's new poster boy, legspinner Rishad Hossain, could pose a particular challenge since Australia have not seen much of him, but David said they will not back down.

"I suppose that's the nature of the World Cup, isn't it? You play every team once," David said. "You might get a team twice if you play in the final, so you don't get to face a lot of lot of these guys; you don't get a big look at them. I don't think anyone in our team will have played against him [Rishad]. So we're going to take him on."

David has been batting against spin in the nets in preparation for all this, but at this point in time, so close to the game, it's not worth thinking too much about it. "I've practiced a lot against spin over the last couple of weeks. Day before a game or couple of days before game [though], it's not that big of a stress," he said. "You know you can't change too much in that last stage. You just get feeling good [in the nets], ticking a couple of boxes, having fun at training. That's the most important thing for me [so close to the game]."

One thing he'll particularly be looking at come game day, is the direction of the wind at the ground. "Yeah, the wind's really important. You hit the ball into the wind, [and] it goes 50 metres shorter; you get one downwind, [and] you can't stop it. I think the other night in St. Lucia, if you hit the ball downwind, it went out of the stadium," David said.

"So yeah, that all comes into stuff when you're out in the middle, you're weighing up risks, weighing up what the best option is for taking ends down, and I guess… if you can sum it up quicker with your experience, you have an idea of what the risk is like if you have to take it on. You can feel [the wind] out there. It's pretty strong in the Caribbean. Some islands are windier than others."