Tim David has had a meteoric rise over the past two years. He went from a fringe player in Western Australia and with Perth Scorchers to an Associate star with Singapore and is now being snapped up by T20 leagues around the world which will shortly include the IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
There will be a familiar face in the RCB set-up when David arrives with their assistant coach Adam Griffith being in charge of Hobart Hurricanes where he now plays in the BBL. Griffith is confident David's fearless approach and power-hitting ability will stand him in good stead if an opportunity comes his way.
In 2021 David played stand-out hands for Lahore Qalandars in the PSL before heading to Surrey where he dominated the Royal London Cup, culminating in a call-up to Southern Brave in the Hundred. A crucial cameo of 15 off 6 balls and a brilliant direct hit from the boundary to run out Liam Livingstone helped Brave take the title.
And he is now taking the CPL by storm for St Lucia Kings just weeks after securing his first IPL deal, as a replacement player at RCB. Griffith believes David is a rare talent that will only get better being in the RCB environment.
"He's got no fear," Griffith told ESPNcricinfo. "I was watching the Caribbean Premier League the other day. The second ball he faced in the competition he smacked someone over cover for six.
"He watches the ball really hard. He doesn't lift his head when he hits it because he knows he's got the power to do what he needs to do. I think that's a big part of his success. And he's starting to get a reputation. And once people start to get a reputation bowlers start to tighten a little bit and that's part of it as well.
"I hope he learns a lot of things. He will be able to watch AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli bat at training and how they prepare and all our batting group, Glenn Maxwell as well."
Much has been made of David's performances for Singapore, having been born there, but he is eligible to play for Australia under ICC rules. He spent most of his life in Australia but, as Eoin Morgan and others have done, players can move from Associate nations to represent Full Member nations without serving the three-year period required of other moves.
David grew up in Perth and attended Scotch College where Australia's Test allrounder Cameron Green was just three years his junior. He dominated club cricket in Perth for Claremont-Nedlands and was briefly a contracted player with Western Australia, making a century for their 2nd XI.
But opportunities did not eventuate in Australia's traditional domestic cricket pathway and he has turned himself into a T20 gun for hire, working on his batting in more recent times with former Somerset allrounder and Claremont-Nedlands coach Jim Allenby.
David was not seriously considered for Australia's T20 World Cup squad, but he is a player the hierarchy is keeping an eye on to fill a T20 role that has long been a hole in Australia's line-up.
"I think one of the biggest things for Tim is it's the role that he plays in every team he plays in," Griffith said. "He wants to bat in that middle-order role and that finishing role. It's the age-old talk, it's been a conversation for years, that all the top-order batters make all the runs, so they get picked to bat in all these roles throughout the team.
"But Tim wants to bat in the middle, he wants to bat at the end. He wants to be the guy that finishes the innings and smacks the ball out of the ground. So, I think that's a huge part of his game. He's actually a batter as well though. He's not just a guy that goes in and slogs. He's a batter. He can hit the ball over cover, he can hit it over point, he just hits it so hard and hit's it so clean."
Griffith hopes the experience in the IPL will only add to David's repertoire. His opportunities could be limited for RCB given their plethora of overseas middle-order players including de Villiers, Maxwell, and Dan Christian. But the opportunity to watch and speak to some of the best finishers in the world is worth the trip alone.
"One of the things over here, that guys like Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya do, their ability when they get towards the back of an innings, not to panic, and understand how many sixes they need to hit in the remaining balls to win the game, or how many boundaries, or what's the scenario, and then they actually calm themselves because they know they've got the ability to do that," Griffith said.
"Tim has the ability to do that. So it's probably more engaging him in his thought process around, 'how do I plan this innings. What do I have to do over the next 20 balls to win the game for my team or set a target that helps us win the game.'
"What he'll see is a lot of players talking about how they approach it and they all approach it completely differently and hopefully, he takes bits and pieces out that matches up with his game that will make him better."