In a time and age where T20 cricket is the norm, the people in the world of cricket are always on the lookout for exciting talents. During the early days of T20 cricket, a misconception made its way around the cricketing circuit that the format favored young aggressive talents and that there was little place for batsman whose approach was old school or as some might say – ‘classical’. This train of thought slowly withered away with players like Kane Williamson and Michael Hussey making their mark in the world’s biggest T20 festival – The IPL. But, if there are any more cricket folk who still believe that T20 favours the Pollards and Warners, we’d like to introduce you to this rising cricketing sensation from England – Dawid Malan.
With a staggering batting average of 53.44 in 19 T20Is, Dawid Malan is a flamboyant stroke player and a versatile batsman. Malan is a late-bloomer in the international cricket circuit but was a popular name in the English county cricket circle, where he joined Middlesex in 2006 as a young 20-year-old lad. Playing at No.6, Malan amassed a mammoth 3227 runs in 127 games for Middlesex between 2008 and 2018. But, the journey to the top for this talented left-handed batsman was never straightforward.
Until 2014, Malan managed only a 37.80 first-class batting average which meant that he was nowhere near the top of the queue to receive a call-up to the national side. 2016 was the breakthrough year for David Malan. An unbeaten 126 ball 185 against Sri Lanka A in Northampton was the standout innings amongst his other glittering performances throughout the year. The consistency in his game caught the attention of the selectors and he received his maiden call up to the national team in 2017 for the three-match T20I series against South Africa. He had a scintillating debut in the third T20I where he plundered a 44-ball 78 against a quality South African bowling attack and was deservedly named as the Man of the Match.
The below two pictures show the complete range of shots the Dawid Malan exhibited in the third T20I.
An unforeseen opportunity opened up for Malan midway during the England - South Africa test series of 2017 owing to England’s struggling batting line-up, but he made just 35 runs in 4 innings which did not help his confidence. However, he quickly turned a corner in the following test series against West Indies where he scored 154 runs which included a couple of half centuries.
He was picked for the 2017-18 Ashes series, a tour to forget for England, as they were comprehensively beaten by Australia with an aggregate of 4-0. But, Malan’s performance in the series was a bright spot for England as he racked up 383 runs in 9 innings with an average above 40. He continued this form into the Trans-Tasman T20I series, featuring Australia, England and New Zealand in February 2018 and was England’s highest run getter. He scored 172 runs in four matches with an average of 43.00 - a masterclass that included four fifties and making him the only English batter to score above 100 runs in the series. Despite such strong performances, Malan’s next T20I appearance came as late as November 2019.
The below table shows the break up of the runs scored by Malan against the different bowlers :
He was in the squad that travelled to New Zealand and once again, showed his quality in the T20I series where he demolished the stats chart scoring his first and, so far, his only T20I ton – 103 off 51 balls in the fourth T20I. He finished as the highest run scorer in the series – a feat that saw him break into the top 10 T20I rankings for the first time.
From Malan’s three standout innings, its seen that the English batsman is a complete and accomplished stroke-player scoring runs all over the field. His ability to play spinners and fast bowlers with commendable competence shows the complete and versatile nature of the batsman that he is.
In the T20I series against South Africa in November 2020, Malan displayed class and maturity in the second T20I where his side was struggling to chase a total of 147. Malan played a calculated innings which was beautifully paced. On a wicket where batting proved to be challenging, Malan had scored just 25 runs off 30 deliveries. The next 10 balls that he faced ensured that South Africa were blown out of the contest. He scored five fours and a six that took his total to 55(40) which was good enough to see his side home. He followed this performance with an unbeaten 99 in the third T20I which saw England clutch the series 3-0.
Dawid Malan stats in T20I :
The maturity, class, consistency and calculated nature in his batting performances make him the marquee batsman for England in the upcoming ICC 2021 T20 World Cup. The versatility in his batting position gives England the flexibility to deal with the situation they are in with ease and calm. The 33-year-old batsman has attracted a lot of attention from cricket fans and teams around the world and one would think that it’s only a matter of time before the world’s best T20 batsman makes his mark in the world’s biggest T20 league – the IPL.