Dawid Malan admits being the world’s top T20 batsman is not enough to secure him a place in the England team in South Africa
- England face South Africa in the first of three T20 matches next week
- Dawid Malan knows there is no guarantee he will being in line-up in Cape Town
- The batsman boasts an average of 48.71 and a whopping strike-rate of 146.66
Dawid Malan is back where it all began for him in South Africa ranked as the world’s best Twenty20 batsman but still trying to prove he belongs in the England side.
There is no guarantee Malan will start in the first of three Twenty20 matches in Cape Town next week even though he has an average of 48.71 and a whopping strike-rate of 146.66 from his 16 internationals.
Not even those world-class numbers were enough to earn the 33-year-old a full white-ball contract last month and he begins the countdown to next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in India knowing every opportunity he gets to impress is ‘gold.’
Dawid Malan boasts an average of 48.71 and a strike-rate of 146.66 from his 16 internationals
‘I don’t think it’s ever given to you on a plate,’ said Malan, who played his early first-class cricket in nearby Paarl, venue for the second T20 match of England’s short tour.
‘When I look back at my limited opportunities since I first played for the T20 side I haven’t had much of a run but that’s understandable given the players England have.
‘Those opportunities you get are like gold and you have to capitalise every time to stay in the squad. Being ranked No 1 doesn’t guarantee you runs nor a spot in the team. The higher your ranking the more pressure is on you but I’m trying not to let that affect me whether I’m ranked No 1 or 100 in the world.’
There is no guarantee Malan will start in first of three T20 matches in Cape Town next week
With Jos Buttler expected to open the batting in the T20 matches with Jason Roy, Malan could be competing with Jonny Bairstow for the No3 spot in an England side brimming with options.
‘I’d like to say I’ll play next week but I have no idea,’ added Malan, whose short Test and one-day international career already appears over. ‘I can’t control selection. I can only do what I can control and hope it’s good enough.’
South Africa, meanwhile, will not take a knee ahead of the matches against England believing they have already made their gesture in support of Black Lives Matter. ‘It’s an ongoing thing for us and it’s not something we need to continue to show,’ said coach Mark Boucher.