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England vs West Indies 2017: 5 players to watch out for

Top 5 / Top 10
1.19K   //    16 Aug 2017, 22:15 IST

England v South Africa - 3rd Investec Test: Day One
In his maiden international Test innings, Malan was dismissed by a searing Kagiso Rabada yorker

In the short history of day-night Test cricket, the opportunity for pioneers of the game to finally host one themselves has arrived. At Edgbaston in Birmingham, hosts England, along with the visitors West Indies, will step out to contest in only the fifth ever day-night Test. The pink ball is being prepared to be mastered; the floodlights will be decorating the ground once the night session begins; and a full house is ready to throng the ground on the rare occasion.

Before England head to Australia for the Ashes during the winter – the tour includes a day-night Test as well – their final lap comes against not-as-strong, though an equally spirited, West Indies outfit.

Five players whose presence – and performance – can have a huge bearing on the outcome of the series are presented. 

#5 Dawid Malan

Drafted into the team for The Oval Test against South Africa alongside Tom Westley as a replacement for the injured Gary Balance and the discarded Liam Dawson, Middlesex’s Malan has so far found life difficult after stepping up the ladder and into the demands of top-flight cricket.

Though he started brightly – and expectedly so – after being rated highly in white-ball cricket, in the T20 against South Africa at Cardiff with a hurried 78, Malan was reduced to nothing when an alarming yorker at the intimidating pace of Kagiso Rabada shattered his stumps in his maiden international Test innings.

Scores of 1, 10, 18 and 6 in four outings thus far have surely disappointed admirers of a man possessing immense skill. Malan never seemed to have settled while facing the hasty pace and accuracy of Rabada, Morne Morkel and others, being sent back by a different bowler each time he went out to bat.

Failure in this series would all but put the seal on his exit from the national team with the form and fitness of Ballance, and the emergence of youngsters Rory Burns, Alex Davies and his county mate Stevie Eskinazi. 

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A childhood cricket enthusiast, my earliest cricket memory goes back to the 2003 World Cup, when I was 7. With a hobby of cricket commentary and writing from my early days, I earned an invitation for employment by aged only 20, and have also had the opportunity to interact with the great analyst Harsha Bhogle.
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