Middlesex batman Dawid Malan’s aim is to play for England in the near future and the 22-year-old feels that the key to him playing for England is to score as many runs as he possibly can for his county, Middlesex.
Malan said: “I want to play for England, that is my goal. I am not thinking about it, I am not going out there to try and get the runs to play for England, I am trying to get runs for Middlesex then things with England will take over.”
Left-hander Malan has already been seen as a potential key player for England. In the 2008/09 winter he was part of the England Performance Squad and although he feels he did not capitalise on his improvement immediately he is now looking for this experience to help him through the season.
“I think I had a disappointing year last year after being in the England Performance squad and learning so much from it. It definitely helped me out, it was good being around those type of players being around and I learnt a lot from them.”
Although Malan averages 37.12 with the bat in first-class cricket, he only averages 19.53 in one-day cricket. This is a statistic he will want to improve on if he is to follow in the footsteps of his Middlesex team-mate, Eoin Morgan.
Morgan averages 36.84 with the bat in the domestic one-day competition and an even more impressive 45.16 in ODIs. Morgan is yet to break into the England Test side, but Malan believes that the trend for emerging players is to play ODIs first and then earn the opportunity to play the longer form of the game.
“I think the trend is to start in the one-day team and then progress to Test cricket. So if I have a good one-day season or couple of seasons then I could get the chance. Eoin Morgan did exactly the same, he scored a lot of runs in county domestic cricket and then got picked for England. So it just shows it can be done and if you do break in to the one-day team, then you have every chance of playing Test cricket.”
In Middlesex’s last Clydesdale Bank 40 over game, Malan played a number of Morgan-like sweeps, reverse-sweeps and switch hits to great effect. He finished with an unbeaten 31 to his name and steered the Panthers home to a comfortable victory over Northamptonshire.
“From a personal side it was quite good to go through and finish a game, a good day to be honest. The Northamptonshire wasn’t a wicket I could play straight on the only other option I had was to do something different. I learnt a lot of these shots from Morgan so if it comes off it comes off, if it doesn’t then you look a bit stupid. Thats just the way it works you have got to play your shots and if you execute them well you look good.”
Malan is keen to play in all forms of the game for Middlesex and England and he particularly enjoys the shorter versions of the game and feels that the test cricket is not under-threat but, the 40-over format may well be.
“I am looking to play all forms, I enjoy all forms of cricket, I like the Twenty20 and one-day stuff but I think the Championship is just as enjoyable.
“I don’t think Twenty20 will take over Test cricket, maybe one day one-dayers will be pushed aside and it will be just Twenty20 and Test matches because that is what crowds want to watch.”
Although Malan’s main concern is to score runs for Middlesex, as an talented, attacking batsman, he has one eye on playing in the Indian Premier League. With Andrew Strauss recently suggesting that the ‘IPL is improving the England players and giving them a great chance to win tournaments,’ it is likely more and more players will be playing in the glamourous IPL.
“I have got ambitions to play in the IPL, at the moment I need to just score as many runs as I can for Middlesex. I want to get Middlesex through and take it from there," he added.
Captain of Middlesex and former England off-spinner, Shaun Udal, feels that Malan has got all of the components to be a great international player.
He said, “He has got to continue to improve and work hard and if he does that he has got every chance of playing for England. He has got the ability, he has got the work ethic, he has got everything he needs to have, so if he continues to improve he is going to do very very well.”
© Cricket World 2010