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Uncapped Phil Salt replaces injured Dawid Malan in England T20 squad

Eoin Morgan’s side take on Pakistan on Sunday.

Phil Salt is uncapped at international level (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Phil Salt is uncapped at international level (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Uncapped Sussex batsman Phil Salt has been added to the England squad for Sunday’s Twenty20 international against Pakistan following Dawid Malan’s withdrawal.

Malan suffered a muscular injury in his groin while batting during Friday’s nervy four-wicket victory over Ireland and, despite completing his innings, has been ruled out of the trip to Cardiff.

Wales-born Salt, 22, is the man to replace him in the 13-man group, joining county team-mates Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan.

Salt is highly thought of at Hove and although his CV is thin, just four half-centuries in his 35 short-form outings, a career strike-rate of 151.50 hints at his talent.

He was born in Bodelwyddan, near Rhyl, but brought up for a time in Barbados and spent part of his winter turning out for Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League.

Salt has made one major hundred this season, striking 137 not out in 106 balls against Kent in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Salt’s call-up will probably see him act as cover, with Ben Duckett already waiting in the wings to replace Malan in the England XI, but gives him a first chance to experience the international set-up.

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Dawid Malan suffered a groin injury against Ireland (Brian Lawless/PA)

He joins an ever wider cast of players from outside England’s provisional World Cup squad to be called upon in the opening week of the season.

Just seven of those who travel to Sophia Gardens were named in last month’s preliminary 15, with a host of others rested, rotated or, in Alex Hales’ case, unceremoniously axed.

The change of format is a curious one, a T20 awkwardly crammed in to the immediate build-up for a 50-over tournament, but Eoin Morgan’s side at least go into the game with a win under their belts.

It might easily have been a different story in Malahide after England slipped to 66 for five in pursuit of Ireland’s 198.

In the end it fell to debutant Ben Foakes to save the day, chiselling out a nerveless 61 not out in a match-winning stand with Tom Curran.

That was enough for Foakes to be named man-of-the-match, just as he had been on his Test bow in Galle last year.

The Surrey wicketkeeper will have the chance to complete a rare hat-trick when he lines up for his first T20 but England will be hoping key men such as Joe Root and Morgan do the heavy lifting after the pair lasted a combined nine balls on Friday.

PA

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