Dawid Malan may be number one in Twenty20’s world batting rankings, but he insists this lofty position is not guaranteed, especially when it comes to his spot on the England team for their next series against South Africa.
After 16 international matches, the left-handers’ numbers are certainly impressive. An average of 48.7 and a strike rate of 146 both jump off the page, also his seven half centuries and the 103 undefeated he pitched against New Zealand at Napier 12 months ago.
Yet despite all this catalog of personal successes, Malan still finds himself struggling for a position in a well-stocked higher order that features 50 World Cup winners in Jason Roy, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow. As such, he takes nothing for granted heading into the first T20 international match next Friday in Newlands.
“It’s something I’ll probably enjoy more when I retire,” Malan said, when asked about being ranked the top international T20 hitter. “It’s not something I’m really looking at right now. It does not guarantee races or a spot on the team.
“The higher you rank in anything, the more they look at you and the more pressure there is on you. That’s something I’m trying not to let get to me by not caring about where I am, whether it’s number one, 20 or 100 in the world. “
England have made it clear that with two T20 World Cups in the next two years, the shorter format is now their priority in cue ball cricket. And yet, in the case of Malan and Chris Jordan, who are two behind Stuart Broad’s national record of 65 T20i wickets, this was not confirmed by the latest core contracts.
Both received increment deals for the next 12 months, a payment of around £ 80,0000 that is added to their county salaries, while Joe Root and Chris Woakes, two World Cup winners aged 50 and over , they retained contracts worth around £ 250,000 a year despite neither being on the T20 team.
He highlights the battle Malan faces to become a permanent fixture in a set-up, as well as the fact that he has played just over half of England’s 29 matches since his debut in T20i in 2017. However , does not want to shake the boat and claims that simply being part of the team for next year’s World Cup in India is the top priority.
“I think everyone has to work hard to play for England,” Malan said. “I don’t think it will ever come on a plate. If you look at the limited opportunities I’ve had since I first made the team, you look back and think you probably didn’t run much.
“But that’s understandable because of the quality of the players England has, they won a World Cup. So the opportunities you get are like gold and you have to capitalize on them every time in order to stay on the roster. And that’s the most important. Give you a sniff if someone falls [injured] up to date.
“One thing [limited-overs captain] Eoin Morgan always talks about “keep pushing the limits”. That drives this team forward and drives the fact that everyone should perform when they have their chances. “
Born in London but raised in South Africa, Malan will experience something of a homecoming on this tour when England plays Paarl, the scene of his first-class debut with Boland in 2006. However, the journey is like no other with the players. restricted to your hotel and two lots due to biosecurity measures.
Tourists have passed all Covid-19 tests to date, but the Proteas were forced to call in an additional two players for their practice matches after a positive result left three anonymous team members needing to isolate themselves.
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