News, Culture & Society

Malan backs England to bounce back from Australia defeat

Only England’s seemingly perennial penchant for a spectacular batting collapse appears to stand between them and a major white-ball trophy in either 20 or 50 over cricket over the next two years.

One of the best of all English limited-overs sides blew their big chance of winning last year’s Champions Trophy when they failed to adjust to sub-continental type conditions in their semi-final in Cardiff against Pakistan.

A nightmare start, meanwhile, to the fourth one-day international in Adelaide last month, when they lost five for eight, then cost them their chance of inflicting a 5-0 drubbing on Australia. 

England slumped to a five-wicket loss in their opening match of the Trans-Tasman Series

Now it was the turn of the Twenty20 side to throw a winning position away, England losing six wickets for 33 in eight overs on Wednesday to turn a formidable position in their first tri-series match into a losing one.

Eoin Morgan’s all-out attacking policy has served England extremely well in thei

r white-ball renaissance but they must learn when to reign it in and marry positivity with pragmatism if they are to achieve their full potential.

The worry is that another big collapse in a knockout match at next year’s all-important 50-over World Cup with too gung-ho an approach might undo all the good work England have put in since the horrors of the last World Cup.   

‘It’s a tough one because if you score 160 in a Twenty20 game you expect the opposition to chase it down easily,’ said England’s Dawid Malan after his second half century in his second Twenty20 international in Hobart.

‘You want to play the conditions as well as you can, but if you have scored 100 after 10 or 11 overs you expect to score 200, especially with small boundaries like here.

‘The name of the game is to score runs as quickly as you can and sometimes you’re going to come unstuck, like we did here. You have to adapt as well as you can and Australia used conditions better than us tonight. 

Malan expects the 'never say die' approach to serve England's Twenty20 side well

Malan expects the ‘never say die’ approach to serve England’s Twenty20 side well

‘It’s a learning curve and sometimes you have to realise a wicket might not be as good as you think it is. We just have to play the conditions a little bit better because it was difficult for every guy who came in here during the middle overs.’

At least Malan, who established himself in the Test team with an outstanding century in Perth during the Ashes, took another big step towards a regular white-ball slot with 50 off 36 balls to follow his 78 off 44 on debut last summer.

His trouble is the stiff competition for places and the new Middlesex captain, only standing in here for the rested Joe Root, will miss out again in the forthcoming one-day series in New Zealand when Ben Stokes should return.

‘I’ve said before I can’t really do much more in domestic white-ball cricket and for the Lions,’ said Malan. ‘I’ve recorded the numbers I need to get in so I don’t really know what else I’ve got to do. 

Malan says England must learn from the top order mistakes that are holding them back

Malan says England must learn from the top order mistakes that are holding them back


February 3 Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets (DLS method)

7 Australia beat England by five wickets

10 Australia vs England, Melbourne

13 New Zealand vs England, Wellington

16 New Zealand vs Australia, Auckland

18 New Zealand vs England, Hamilton

21 Final, Auckland 

‘Yes I’m disappointed not to be picked for new Zealand but it’s a tough team to break into and I just have to be patient. I’ve been patient for long enough in my career so if I keep scoring runs in the Twenty20s when I get opportunities hopefully that can put pressure on the guys in the squad.’

For now he will carry on doing things his way, starting with Saturday’s second T20 game against here at the MCG that England really need to win if they are to avoid a battle with New Zealand to reach the tri-series final.

‘I’ve got my way of playing in Twenty20 cricket,’ added Malan. ‘I usually open the batting so I’ve got a game-plan of just trying to play good cricket shots. You get the reward when the field is up. 

‘It’s see ball hit ball and trying to get the ball in the area it comes from. Now and again you have to be a bit more inventive in trying to hit in different areas and trying to put the bowler off his game but for me it’s attempting to keep it as simple as I can.’