Amongst batsmen who have played at least 15 T20 internationals, Dawid Malan’s average of 53.43 is currently the highest in the world- more than Babar Azam, more than Virat Kohli. No player in the history of T20Is -amongst the top nations – has had such a humungous start to his career than Dawid Malan- not even the above mentioned two T20 stalwarts.
Malan, at the moment, sits atop of the ICC T20I batsman rankings with 915-which is a record. The next best is Pakistan’s Babar Azam, who is regarded as arguably the best T20 batsman has 871 points. The gulf between the two encapsulates the T20 acumen of Dawid Malan.
However, even with such a boastful T20 career hitherto, Malan doesn’t have an assured place in the England eleven. A couple of factors combine to make his spot vulnerable in the side.
The English white-ball team is ladened with power-hitters, from top to bottom – even their bowlers can smack the ball over the rope – and Eoin Morgan doesn’t believe in changing too much. Also, Malan is a slow starter; he takes some time to get his eye in. However, the southpaw does make it up with his late power-hitting- a strike rate of 150 for a number three is decent enough.
I don’t worry or care too much: Dawid Malan
Malan believes that being at the top of the ICC rankings doesn’t assure him a place in the England eleven. He is sometimes embarrassed that he sits over the like of Kohli and Azam.
Speaking with The Observer, Dawid Malan said, “When it came at the end of the summer I didn’t agree. I looked at guys like Virat Kohli and Babar Azam and felt a bit embarrassed by it. But coming here with the tag and performing, I’m becoming a bit more comfortable with it. It guarantees nothing, and I don’t worry or care too much.”
The 33-year-old admits that there is extra pressure of the ranking which he feels every time while walking into bat. Malan says that he will only think about the rankings once he retires.
“The hardest part is how much it gets mentioned. Even walking out to bat it comes up on the big screen and you think: ‘Give it a rest, guys.’ I’m proud of it but I will only really enjoy it after I retire from cricket when I look back,” he added.
Malan was adjudged the Man of the Series in the recently concluded 3-match T20I series against South Africa. The left-hander scored 173 runs at a strike rate of 161, including a 99* in the last game. He will now ply his trade in the Big Bash League for Hobart Hurricanes.