Marsh lauds 'sheer brilliance' of David's match-winning knock

Australia's T20 skipper hails the 'complete trust in his game' and 'real self-confidence' of Tim David to deliver at the death in stunning victory

Tim-Possible! David's final-ball heroics ice series opener

On the eve of Australia's opening T20I against New Zealand at Wellington Stadium, skipper Mitchell Marsh made special mention of the skillset finisher Tim David brings to the batting role his captain deemed the short-format game's most difficult.

Barely 24 hours later, those words could scarcely have proved more prescient as David cooly blasted an unbeaten 31 from just 10 balls to deliver Australia a win for the ages with a boundary off the final ball with four runs required.

Marsh admits he had probably the optimal seat in the suddenly silent house as David got Australia over the line against all expectations and most odds, adding it was lucky he wasn't at the striker's end for those final few deliveries because he was "swinging like a rusty gate" despite being 72no.

Asked what sort of qualities it takes to go to the wicket with 44 runs needed off the final three and a half overs, in front of 19,603 baying parochial fans emboldened by the knowledge Australia needed to post a record run chase at the venue, and with NZ Test skipper Tim Southee to bowl the final over.

"Complete trust in your game and a real confidence to be able to go out there and do that," Marsh assessed in the wake of the four-wicket win that gives Australia a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I Series for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

"From the moment he came out he was really calm, he knew what we wanted to do and think he’s just learning and learning over the last two years.

"You’ve seen him dominate T20 comps around the world and come onto the international stage and feel at home playing for Australia.

"It’s special to watch and (I'm) very proud of him.

"Any time you chase down 216 is a great effort, and we just got over the line by the sheer brilliance of Tim David. "

With 16 needed off Southee's last over, Marsh's wish heading into the last six balls was to get to the non-striker's end as he was finding it difficult to hit the boundaries whereas David's clarity and execution had seen him land a boundary and two sixes to close out Adam Milne's penultimate over.

Despite Southee sending down his fourth wide with his opening delivery, his next three balls hit their mark and the Australia pair were only able to scramble three singles, two of which were leg byes.

But such is the faith in their finishing capabilities having reeled in a couple of big totals set by West Indies in the recent Dettol T20I series in Australia, they refused to be daunted with 12 needed from the last three balls.

"We thought two sixes early on in the piece would get it down to pretty much game done," Marsh said.

"Tim Southee bowled a couple of great balls, then obviously when it gets to the end there it’s whatever’s required.

"Timmy (David) was just really clear on what we wanted to do – sure he would have liked to finish with a six, but he finished with a four."

In case you don't know me: Tim David

That boundary in itself was a remarkable feat, with David able to jam down so sweetly on Southee's attempted yorker he sent it scorching far enough to the left of Glenn Phillips – NZ's most fleet-footed outfielder – at deep mid-wicket that it reached the rope.

"I was thinking 'run', because three meant Super Over," Marsh said when asked what he thought when he saw the ball leave David's unerring bat.

"And I had to turn this big frame around which was tough out there with no (wicket) square, but once I saw it go over the line it was just pure elation.

"For someone like Tim to be able to do that on the international stage, it’s amazing."

Marsh said he felt confident Australia would be able to mount the biggest successful run chase at the high-scoring venue, with it's short boundaries either side of the wicket and fast outfield.

Despite needing to score at more than 10 per over throughout the pursuit, the run rate had never got away from the visitors despite losing wickets whenever a big partnership threatened to build.

But in addition to costly catches missed by NZ's fielders – with David Warner, Josh Inglis and Marsh all given reprieves – it was the manner in which Australia's pace brigade fought back with the ball in the last five overs of the Black Caps innings that proved just as crucial as David's heroics.

"We don’t want to be chasing 216 too often but I think on these grounds over here – great wickets, small grounds – we sort of have to get used to defending or chasing 200," Marsh said after his player of the match knock.

"I thought the way we closed out (NZ's innings) was actually really good.

"It could have been 230 easily towards the back end."

The teams travel to Auckland on Thursday for the last two games of the series on Friday and Sunday, at Eden Park which offers an altogether different challenge for bowlers with its short boundaries at either end and deceptively deep pockets square of the wicket.

Australia are expected to have keeper Matthew Wade available for selection after he arrived in New Zealand following the birth of his and wife Julia's third child.

Marsh indicated Steve Smith will also come into consideration for inclusion in the starting XI at Eden Park after auxiliary Matt Short wasn't needed in the successful run chase, and didn’t bowl on a pitch where Australia's spinners Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell went at almost 15 per over.

"I'd say he's likely to come in," Marsh said when asked if Smith would enter planning for the games in Auckland.

"Heady (Travis Head) and Davey (Warner, his opening partner) were our first choice for this match, but there's no doubt Steve will come into calculations for the next game.

"I understand that it always raises eyebrows when Steve Smith gets left out of a team but we're certainly building towards the World Cup and we'll give lots of guys different opportunities over the next few games."

'Special to watch': Marsh reflects on epic T20 finish

Qantas Tour of New Zealand

February 21: First T20: Australia win by six wickets with 0 balls to spare

February 23: Second T20, Auckland, 5.10pm AEDT

February 25: Third T20, Auckland, 11am AEDT

Australia T20 squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

New Zealand T20 squad: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Tim Seifert, Rachin Ravindra, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Mitchell Santner (c), Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Trent Boult

February 29 – March 4: First Test, Wellington, 9am AEDT

March 8-12: Second Test, Christchurch, 9am AEDT

Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc

New Zealand Test squad: Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Will O'Rourke, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.