Dawid Malan is out to “prove a point” during the three-match T20I series in the Caribbean.
The last time Malan turned out for England was in Birmingham for the Tests against India in August last year. Since then, he’s been out of favour, even in white-ball cricket, and Malan isn’t happy about missing out despite a “breakthrough winter”.
He has a good case backing him: In his five T20Is so far, he made 250 runs, including four half-centuries, at an excellent strike-rate of 150.60. However, he still finds himself behind the pecking order.
Dawid Malan is back in the England fold after being included in the T20I squad for the series against West Indies.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) February 21, 2019
Malan understands that’s a function of England’s immense batting depth, but even so, he wants to make a point. “You always want to play more and, when you average 50 with a strike-rate of 150, you do, probably selfishly, think you should be playing a bit more,” he said on the eve of the first T20I on Tuesday, March 5.
“I think the hardest thing was, after that winter – the breakthrough winter – to have five innings and then be out of all three formats was pretty tough. You always have a few questions why.
“It’s never easy being dropped. It’s your dream to play international cricket and you think it’s gone at that time. It’s been tough.”
Despite being dropped – and he did acknowledge his form in the Tests were poor – Malan insisted he is “good enough” for international cricket. “I definitely believe I’m good enough to play Test cricket,” he said. “(Six) innings ago in Test cricket I passed fifty. In my last T20 innings I passed fifty.
“I still believe I can play international cricket. I still believe I’m good enough, it’s just when I get the opportunity to score runs to show the selectors, and both captains, and people around the world that I am good enough.”
Malan also revealed he wasn’t entirely happy with comments made by Ed Smith, the national selector, who suggested the batsman was better suited to overseas conditions.
Trevor Bayliss has hinted that Jofra Archer could be in line for an international debut when England take on Pakistan in May, before the start of the World Cup. https://t.co/Blts0qX7jB
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) March 3, 2019
“It’s obviously hard when you play your whole career in a country to be told you’re suited somewhere else,” Malan said. “It is disappointing to be tagged with that.
“I played with Ed at Middlesex and I’ve never had an issue with him. We did speak about a few things and were quite honest with each other, which is the way it should be. You don’t want to be walking away thinking ‘I wish I’d said this’ or ‘I wish I’d asked that’.
“There’s been no dramas about that. From my point of view and Ed’s point of view it’s just a case of ‘if you want to get back in the Test team, score as many runs as you can in county cricket’. It’s pretty simple: score big runs, play the right way and if there’s a spot available, he could come knocking.
I probably didn’t score as many runs as I should have done in those five innings after the winter. So for me, it’s about proving a point and showing I can play all over the world. My record across both formats … is okay in Test cricket, to say the least, and decent in T20 cricket. So it’s just about scoring runs to get the opportunity to bat in both of those.”