Image courtesy of: Zimbio
With the two-Test series against New Zealand to begin on March 22, England batsman Dawid Malan is eager to maintain his red-hot form with the bat and further cement his place in the Test side.
Malan was one of the few bright spots for England during the recent Ashes series against Australia as he was his side’s highest scorer with 383 runs, which included a century and three fifties, at an average of 42.55.
While Malan still feels he has to prove his worth to keep hold of his spot in the team, he made it clear that he is determined to represent his country in as many Test matches as possible.
“I wouldn’t say I feel established in the England side, but I feel like I’ve got two or three more games in the bank than I would have had before,” Malan told Sky Sports. “Those games give me a bit of breathing space in terms of lifting a little bit of pressure off me so that I can go out and hopefully perform and play the way I want to play, and need to play to succeed.
“When you’ve waited so long for your chance you don’t want to give it away and start thinking too far ahead; it’s a great honour to play for your country and some people get that honour a lot earlier and some people have to work a lot harder and wait longer.
“In my case I was 29 years old and I want to play as long as I can for England.”
When asked about the 10 Tests he has played thus far, Malan said: “It’s been nice after the summer I had for England starting off, to score some runs and do it against Australia in Australia and in the T20s as well.
“It’s nice to show that I can play and to prove to people that the guys that have been around for the last two or three years aren’t necessarily the only ones that can score runs for England. It’s nice to put pressure on them and to show the world what you can do.
“You have to have the technique and the basics to be able to play against the best bowlers in the world but as with anything, the higher you go the better the wickets and the bowlers get, so it evens things out a bit.
“The bowlers in county cricket are as skilful but maybe not as quick so it tests you in different ways; it tests you mentally, it tests your heart a little bit and it tests your will to actually get through some tough periods.
“When it gets tough you can always take the easy option and it’s about trying to make sure you don’t do that to give your wicket away, especially when you are new into the team and you’re trying your best to cement your place.”
Since making his international debut in June last year, Malan conceded that his approach to training has been a lot different.
“When you just play county cricket you get into the habit of playing, playing, playing,” he said. “You walk into nets and hit 10-15 underarms and you think you’re ready to play – you don’t really work on your game as much, whereas when you play international cricket you seem to have a lot more time to prepare for series and breakdown your training into practising what you are going to get.
“I definitely tinkered with things before the Ashes. I played around with my technique a little bit. When I started in the summer I felt there were a few things that weren’t as smooth as they should have been. Andy Flower pointed out one or two things to me and that helped me quite a lot in the Ashes.”