• England dump Dawid Malan

    England has dropped Dawid Malan for the second Test against India at Lord’s.

    ‘Dawid Malan drops out of the squad for Lord’s. Dawid has not found his best rhythm this season, and it may be that his game is better suited to overseas conditions,’ said Ed Smith, England national selector.

    The 30-year-old Malan (who was educated at Paarl Boys High in the Western Cape) has played 15 Tests for England since his debut against South Africa just over a year ago. He has scored 724 Test runs (ave 27.84) with one century – a brilliant 140 against Australia last December – and six half-centuries.

    Malan enjoyed good success on that Ashes tour, but his subsequent form has been patchy, to say the least, with scores of two, 23, zero and 53 during the Tests in New Zealand, followed by six, 12 and 28 against Pakistan at home. The final nail in his coffin was the first Test disappointment where he could muster only eight and 20 against India.

    Malan’s form with the bat would have been hard for the selectors to overlook in a series they desperately want to win against the number one ranked Test nation. However, what seemed to seal his fate were the three chances he dropped at slip during the first Test – especially considering that two of those chances let top-scoring Virat Kohli off the hook.

    Malan dropped a simple catch off Kohli on 21 and then again failed to hold onto a catch when the Indian skipper was on 51. The second chance was a much more difficult opportunity, with Malan having to dive to attempt to hold onto the edge. With Kohli top-scoring with 149 in the first innings (the next best Indian score in the innings was Shikhar Dhawan’s 26) it was perhaps inevitable that Malan suffered some backlash from former players.

    ‘Whatever happens in this game they’ve allowed Virat Kohli to go on and get 149. He’s got 15 more in this innings than he got throughout the whole tour last time in 2014,’ said former England captain Michael Vaughan on BBC’s Test Match Special.

    ‘It’s a five-match series and Virat has got off to a flyer with 149… and great players once they get into rhythm, once they get into form and once they get into confidence, they are very difficult to stop,’ added Vaughan, in so doing entering Malan’s dropped catches into the evidence bag in the event that India fight back to draw or win the series.

    Malan made amends on the final day, holding a smart catch at slip to remove Dinesh Karthik for 20 off James Anderson, but it was not enough to earn him a reprieve.

    Malan’s place in the side for Lord’s is being filled by Ollie Pope, a 20-year-old middle-order batsman from Surrey. An additional change to the winning squad comes in the shape of Warwickshire seamer Chris Woakes, who fills in for Ben Stokes who is appearing in court this coming week to answer charges of affray.

    ‘Ben Stokes is unavailable, but Chris Woakes, with some extra matches and practices under his belt, can now return to the England squad after injury,’ added Smith.

    England Test squad for Lord’s
    Joe Root
    Moeen Ali
    James Anderson
    Jonny Bairstow
    Stuart Broad
    Jos Buttler
    Alastair Cook
    Sam Curran
    Keaton Jennings
    Ollie Pope
    Jamie Porter
    Adil Rashid
    Chris Woakes

    Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Post by

    Simon Lewis