Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes Tim David is the type of player that could win Australia the T20 World Cup, comparing his match-winning ability to that of 2003 50-over World Cup star Andrew Symonds.

Ponting, who has recently taken a role as Hobart Hurricanes head of strategy where David plays in the BBL, suggested that if he was an Australia selector he would find a place for the powerful right-hander in Australia’s side despite the fact the 2022 T20 World Cup hosts are defending a title they won without David in the squad last year.

He compared David’s power-hitting to that of his late friend Symonds, who was a last-minute inclusion in Australia’s 2003 World Cup squad and dominated scoring a brilliant 143 not out in the opening game against Pakistan and another match-winning 91 not out in the semi-final against Sri Lanka.

“If I was a selector, I would love to have someone like that in my team,” Ponting said. “If he’s playing or not, just to have that sort of striking power ability around, he’s an out and out match-winner.

“He’s the sort of player that could actually win you a World Cup. He’s not just the average run-of-the-mill guy that might just sneak into a squad. I mean, he actually reminds me a bit of someone like an Andrew Symonds back in the 2003 World Cup. You know if you get them in and you give him an opportunity they’re a chance of winning a tournament for you. That’s how I’d be looking at him right now. I know there are some other great world-quality players in the middle order for Australia. But probably none of them boasts the resume as good as Tim’s over the last two years.”

Australia’s selection panel, which features George Bailey (chairman), Andrew McDonald (coach) and Tony Dodemaide, have a challenge on their hands trying to fit David into the 15-man squad. They did not pick him for the T20I tour of Sri Lanka as the squad was selected just prior to his outstanding run of form in the IPL. Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade have established themselves as Australia’s finishers at No.6 and No.7 following their World Cup heroics last year. The top four is also settled. The only vulnerable player in that line-up appears to be Steven Smith who has been backed in at No.5 in Australia’s T20I team with the selectors holding faith that the veteran will stand up when required in the T20 World Cup.

Skipper Aaron Finch suggested recently that David’s opportunity with Australia will come. Australia’s next T20I assignment is a three-game series against India in India in September. It is possible David could be part of that squad if a couple of Australia’s multi-format batters are rested given the matches will be in vastly different conditions to those that will be seen in the World Cup. But those games are likely to be played after the 15-man World Cup squad has already been named.

Ponting saw David in the IPL at close quarters when he smacked 34 off 11 balls for Mumbai Indians against the Ponting-coached Delhi Capitals to knock Delhi out of the playoffs.

Ponting felt David was underutilised by Mumbai and is already planning to use him more prominently for Hobart Hurricanes following discussions with new coach Jeff Vaughan.

“He’s been incredible in almost every tournament that he’s played around the world, the last 12 or 18 months,” Ponting said. “He was probably a little bit unlucky not to play more in the IPL this year to be honest, with the way that he started with Mumbai and then didn’t come back until right near the end and played some match-winning knocks then.

“He’s obviously one player that we’re extremely excited about. I think there’s a chance for him to probably take on a bit more responsibility in the batting line-up with the Hurricanes this season as well because of his consistency and his match-winning ability. We don’t want to waste that and we don’t have him sitting on the sidelines too long. So I know that’s one of the strategic things that we’ve already spoken about with him, is how we actually get the most out of him and how we maximize his ability.

“He’s a very, very good, very dangerous T20 player that I’m sure the Australian selectors are thinking long and hard about for the World Cup in a couple of months time.”