T20 World Cup: Eoin Morgan says Dawid Malan has a strong chance of playing for England against West Indies

The England captain backs Dawid Malan ahead of Saturday’s opening match against the T20 world champions and says the formula that has brought his team to the top spot in the ICC T20 team rankings is worth following; Eoin Morgan ranks England as second or third seed for the title behind India

Dawid Malan is averaging 43.19 overall in T20 for England, but just 20 in his last six innings despite scoring 76 against Sri Lanka in June.

Captain Eoin Morgan says Dawid Malan has a “high chance” to play in England’s ICC T20 World Cup opener against the West Indies, despite a drop in form.

Malan enters the tournament ranked No. 1 in the ICC’s T20 batting rankings, but his position at No. 3 in the order has been undermined by a 268-run return from his last 11 innings and a tendency to not push himself. From the beginning.

The southpaw returned modest scores in England’s World Cup prep games, making 18 of the same number of balls in the loss to India, then 11 of 15 deliveries as Morgan’s men beat New Zealand by 13 runs.

But when asked directly for Sky sports Commentator Michael Atherton on whether Malan will play on Saturday, Morgan said: “Dawid is ranked number one in the world. He has a great chance to play.”

The decision is complicated by Morgan’s own lack of form in the Indian Premier League, as well as the absence of off-roaders Sam Curran (back injury) and Ben Stokes, who is taking a break from the game to prioritize his health. mental.

Sky sports expert Nasser Hussain says about @Cricket that he would ultimately stay with Malan at three because the 34-year-old has played a pivotal role in England’s rise to No. 1 in the ICC T20 team rankings.

“I am a little concerned about ruining the plans that he has had for 18 months in his first game at the World Cup, with Malan still ranked number one in the world with three,” Hussain said.

“Also, given that Morgan does not participate in any races, and Liam Livingstone has a quiet moment in the IPL and the preparation games in the UAE, it is difficult.

“Both sides [England and West Indies] They are probably a little weaker at bowling, so extra bowling would be the right thing to do.

“Personally I would go with the extra hitter and play Malan, but you can’t have a problem if they leave him out.”

Morgan won’t name his team until Saturday’s draw, but hinted he would be tempted to stick with the available players who have helped England move up to the top spot in the standings.

“The assumption is that it’s always more difficult to balance on your side when you have two real off-roaders in Ben Stokes and Sam Curran misses the tournament,” he said.

“They add a lot of value, they make the selection easier and you often have a luxury player on the team because they do both.

“I think balancing the side of any team in the World Cup will be a challenge and finding the right formula will be a challenge within that.

“But we’ve had a formula that has worked for quite some time; yes, we’ve had SUVs to play with, but we still have SUVs to choose from as well.”

Morgan’s confidence that Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone can operate as “true all-rounders” means that he does not believe England is short on slow bowling options, despite Adil Rashid being the only specialized player on the team, with Liam Dawson on hold. .

With the fields in the UAE expected to be conducive to spinners, India will enter the tournament with an impressive array of options in Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy, and Morgan has no doubts that the team de Virat Kohli will start. as favorites to the trophy.

When asked how he rates England’s chances, Morgan replied: “Probably the way the bookies do: second or third favorite. India is obviously a favorite because of the conditions and the level of talent they have at their disposal under these conditions. .

“But there is no reason why, if we perform well, we cannot advance through the group stage and become real contenders.”

“This is the first time since 2016 that we have participated in an international tournament and we are not considered favorites. It is just a different challenge.

“It’s a realistic way of looking at things, and it shows the work that we have to do to progress and move forward, but also the progression that we have achieved in our cue ball cricket.

“It has been really extraordinary. If you look back at 2016, before the tournament, they would have considered us an afterthought. In our group stage game against South Africa, we had one foot on the plane in the middle of the stage, looking straight ahead. down. chasing 230.

“But I think the talent we have and the players at our disposal make us a dangerous team in this tournament.”

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