Dawid Malan hungry for more after proving his Test best in Australia
Malan could return to the England side for Wednesday’s T20 clash in Hobart.
Dawid Malan was one of the few England players to bolster their reputation during the Ashes and now he is desperate to make up for lost time in white-ball cricket.
Malan was the tourists’ top-scorer in their 4-0 Test defeat by Australia, making 383 runs at 42.55 and banking an emotional maiden century in a losing cause at the WACA.
He arrived Down Under as a 30-year-old rookie at international level, after more than a decade vying in vain for attention on the county circuit, but he left with his credentials underlined in bold.
Yet it was back to the benches once the one-day series started, with Malan an unused squad member during England’s retaliatory 4-1 success.
With Joe Root rested he could return to the stage on Wednesday, when England open their Trans-Tasman T20 series against Australia in Hobart, and he will do so as a man on a mission.
“In my career so far all I have ever asked for is a chance to show what I can do,” he said.
“You can score a lot of runs at domestic level but you never know whether you can make it at international cricket. The only way you can see if you can – and people can see that you can – is to get an opportunity.
“That doesn’t mean handing out caps for the sake of it, you have still got to break your way in, so this is hopefully another opportunity to show what I can do.”
Malan struggles to hide his surprise at having shored up a Test spot and jostled into contention for the 20-over team while remaining uncapped in ODIs and unselected for the coming series against New Zealand.
He has long considered one-day cricket his likeliest route to the top, backing up his domestic form with eye-catching hundreds for England Lions and in last year’s resurrected North v South series.
“I always thought 50-over cricket but that is the one I am furthest away from now it seems,” he said.
“I have 5,000 runs at 42 or whatever (4,928 at 42.11), I’ve dominated Lions 50-over cricket… that is the cricket I have produced to show I can play for England.
“I can’t really score more runs at domestic level or for the Lions, it’s just trying to find some clarity on how I can get into that one-day squad. The only way you can get an opportunity is if you’re in the squad.”
Malan’s only previous T20 international came against South Africa last summer in Cardiff, when he thrashed 78 in 44 deliveries in his first ever knock for a senior England side.
Head coach Trevor Bayliss has only a sketchy knowledge of the county game and Malan’s efforts at Sophia Gardens are understood to have piqued his interest sufficiently to win a Test place.
If that is the case, the Australian did not let on at the time.
“I walked past Trevor afterwards and he just went, ‘well done, mate’. That was it,” Malan recalled.
“He didn’t even say goodbye after the game. He just picked up his bag and walked out. That’s the beauty of Trevor, he is a man of few words.
“But it’s nice I made an impression on him. It’s nice to have someone who goes, ‘we are going to take a punt on you’.
“Looking pretty doesn’t necessarily get you more games. It’s about trying to get as many runs as you can at every opportunity.”