England’s Malan aims to nail down T20 spot; Agar eyes Oz finisher’s role - GulfToday

England’s Malan aims to nail down T20 spot; Agar eyes Oz finisher’s role

Dawid Malan

Dawid Malan’s average in T20 internationals is a shade higher than Virat Kohli’s but he played down comparisons with the India captain. File / Reuters

England’s Dawid Malan says he wants to make it hard for the selectors to drop him through sheer weight of runs after another eye-catching Twenty20 innings against Australia.

Malan scored 42, putting on 87 runs for the second wicket with Jos Buttler, as England won the second T20 at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday by six wickets to seal the three-match series.

The 33-year-old has an impressive average of more than 50 after 15 T20 internationals but is still not guaranteed a place in Eoin Morgan’s side.

England, world champions in the 50-overs game, are vying with Australia for the top ranking in T20 cricket and boast enviable batting depth.

Left-handed batsman Malan said holding down a place in the team was tough, with such fierce competition.

“We all know how good the players are that hold those positions,” he said.

“Their records over the last four or five years have been fantastic.

“For anyone to break in, you have to be extremely consistent and win games of cricket for England.”

Malan said he was aware that players such as Jason Roy and Ben Stokes would come back into the side at some point and his job was to score as many runs as possible.

The Yorkshire player’s average in T20 internationals is a shade higher than Virat Kohli’s but he played down comparisons with the India captain.

“I don’t think I’m anywhere near as good as Virat Kohli and those guys even though the numbers are sort of suggesting that,” he said.

“Maybe if I played 50 games I could be compared to some extent. But all I can do is score runs. If I keep scoring runs at the rate I’m scoring at hopefully it will make it hard for them to ignore what I’m doing and I can somehow find a way into that starting XI.”

Malan said he was aiming to be part of the squad for next year’s T20 World Cup in India, adding that England were already planning for the event.

Meanwhile, Jos Buttler will miss England’s final Twenty20 against Australia on Tuesday after requesting time off to be with his family.

Having featured in all six Test matches during the English summer before rejoining the white-ball side for the ongoing series, Buttler has been inside the team bubble for the past 10 weeks.

It is understood that the 29-year-old approached captain Eoin Morgan and head coach Chris Silverwood after his match-winning 77 not out gave the hosts an unassailable 2-0 lead at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday and they granted his release.

AGAR’S AIM: Elsewhere, Ashton Agar is keen to improve his batting and become one of Australia’s finishers at the Twenty20 World Cup in India next year.

The all-rounder has caught the eye with bat and ball in England so far even though Aaron Finch’s men are two down in the three-match T20 series in Southampton.

Agar has picked up four wickets at an admirable economy rate and chipped in with a 20-ball knock of 23 from number seven in Sunday’s loss.

Since he has established himself in the T20 side over the past year, the 26-year-old has excelled with the ball but he would like to win more games for his country with the bat.

MISBAH’S APPEAL: Meanwhile, Pakistan cricket coach Misbah-ul-Haq urged more nations to tour the country, saying Monday the sport needs “mutual support” to recover from the coronavirus crisis.

His appeal comes just a week after Pakistan finished a tour of England, where they played three Tests and as many Twenty20 internationals in empty stadiums.

During the trip the squad spent two months in a bio-secure environment after several players tested positive for Covid-19 before the trip.

Even before the pandemic, Pakistan struggled to attract touring teams after militants attacked the Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore in 2009.

Security has improved, however, and last year Pakistan squared off against Sri Lanka in what was its first home Test in a decade.

Agence France-Presse

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