Dawid Malan eager to take England chance after T20 recall
Watch Windies vs England in the first T20 live on Sky Sports Cricket from 7.30pm on Tuesday
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 05/03/19 10:54pm
Dawid Malan is eager to make an impression after returning to the England fold for the first time since he was dropped last summer.
Malan lost his Test shirt last August, seven matches after a breakthrough Ashes hundred in Perth, having already been cast aside from the Twenty20 squad.
His dropping from the five-day format was awkwardly handled, with national selector Ed Smith appearing to suggest Malan's style was not suited to home conditions, but his omission in the shortest format was arguably even harsher.
In five appearances to date, he has already scored four half-centuries, averaging exactly 50 with a punishing strike-rate of 150.
His exile might well have continued had England gone with a full-strength squad for their three T20Is against Windies but with Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes all excused, the 31-year-old has been handed the chance to re-state his credentials.
"It's never easy being dropped, it's your dream to play international cricket and you think it's gone at that time," he said ahead of the series opener in St Lucia, which can be seen live on Sky Sports Cricket from 7.30pm on Tuesday.
"It's been tough. From a personal point of view, you always want to play more and when you do average 50 with a strike-rate of 150 you do, probably selfishly, think you should be playing a bit more.
"That's just the strength and depth of this white-ball team. To get into it and stay in it is tough. Any opportunity you get, you have to make it count or somebody else takes that spot.
"You can do all your talking off the field but at the end of the day, it's what matters on the field. If I can score some runs, that would do me the world of good."
Malan enjoys a good relationship with his former county colleague Smith, but did seek to clarify a perception that he had been tagged as an 'overseas specialist'.
As someone approaching his 13th year of first-class cricket in England, it was not one he was keen to accept.
"I played with Ed at Middlesex and I've never had an issue with him," said Malan.
"We did speak about a few things and were quite honest with each other, which is the way it should be. Every time I've had a question, he's answered it honestly. There's been no dramas about that.
"It's obviously hard when you play your whole career in a country to be told you're suited somewhere else, but the way he explained it to me made more sense than the way it came across in the press.
"It's pretty simple: score big runs, play the right way and if there's a spot available, he could come knocking."
Watch the first T20 international between Windies and England live from 7.30pm on Tuesday on Sky Sports Cricket.