Dawid Malan in phenomenal form but faces tough fight to grab ODI spot, believes England coach Chris Silverwood


England batsman Dawid Malan is indeed playing his best cricket at the moment, but team’s head coach Chris Silverwood believes it will be tough for the left-hander to break into the 50-over format of the game.

The 33-year-old’s impressive performance with the bat during his side’s 2-1 win over Australia in the recently-concluded three-match T20I series at home saw him surpass Pakistan’s Babar Azam and take top spot in the updated ICC T20I rankings for batsmen.

Malan has progressed four places after a series-topping run aggregate of 129 against a strong attack, which included a player of the match effort of 66 in the first fixture to become No.1 T20I batsman. 

Silverwood admitted that though Malan’s current form in the shortest format of the game is ‘phenomenal’, breaking into the One-Day International (ODI) squad will be a tough nut to crack.

“His form in T20 as it stands is phenomenal really.It seems to keep getting better the more he bats, which is great, and it’s good to watch him. He worked hard to get into the team and when he’s got his opportunity, he’s taken it, which is superb to watch and obviously his record is brilliant at the moment, so good on him,” ESPNcricinfo quoted the head coach as saying.

Malan’s power hitting performance in the recently-concluded T20I series also saw him being add as a reserve in the ODI squad for the three-match series between England and Australia, beginning September 11 at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester.

Silverwood said that the southpaw has worked really hard to get into the national team and he will hopefully grab the opportunity of making it to the one-day unit with both hands when the chance arises.

“[Malan]’s been brought in, he’s in great form and he is on the reserve list at the moment so if anything happens he’s there, isn’t he?” Silverwood added. “The 50-over format is a tough team to get into. If the opportunity comes around I’m sure he’ll grab it with both hands, but it may be a case of waiting for that opportunity,” Silverwood stated.

The England batsman, whose previous best ranking was second in November last year, is now eight rating points ahead of Pakistan’s Babar Azam.

Malan has now notched up eight scores of fifty or more than that in just 16 appearances he made for England in the shortest format of the game at an average of 48.17 and an equally impressive strike rate of more than 146.

However, Malan’s chances of playing for England in the first ODI against Australian appear slim as experienced batsman Jason Roy has recovered from a side strain and white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan has passed the fitness test after a dislocated finger ruled him out of a five-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia in the third T20.

 

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Sagar Biswas

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