Paul Collingwood backs 'exceptional' Dawid Malan to rediscover form

Dawid Malan is stumped off Washington Sunder's bowling in the 3rd T20I (Image source ICC)
Dawid Malan is stumped off Washington Sunder's bowling in the 3rd T20I (Image source ICC)

England's assistant coach Paul Collingwood has backed Dawid Malan to rediscover his batting form amidst his ongoing struggles against spin in the five-match T20I series in India.

The number one ranked batsman in T20I cricket, Malan has managed to score just 80 runs from 77 balls in the four matches played so far and has been dismissed thrice by the Indian spinners.

Due to his generally slow starts and struggles against spin (been dismissed 14 times by spinners in 23 matches), there have been calls for Malan to be dropped with an eye on the T20 World Cup to be held in India later this year.

Collingwood backs Malan to come good soon

Speaking at a virtual press conference, Collingwood backed the left-handed Malan to come good in the final match of the series while referring to his exceptional numbers in the shortest format.

"Dawid hasn't quite found his rhythm on this tour but you've got to remember where he is in the world rankings and that's no fluke. What he's done with an England shirt on in T20 cricket has been pretty much exceptional up until this series. He'll be the first person to say it hasn't gone quite as well as he'd like in the first four games, but he's got an opportunity again to do something special (in the 5th game)."

The 33-year-old Malan has an enviable record in T20I cricket in the 23 matches he's played for England so far, having scored 935 runs at an average of 49.21 with the help of a century and nine fifties.

Despite taking his time to settle in at the start of his innings, Malan's strike-rate of 144.07 shows how damaging he can be once he gets going.

That was the point Collingwood emphasized:

"He has been unbelievably consistent, to the point where you know full well that once he gets in he will go on and get a big score. Sometimes it only takes one shot that comes out of the middle of the bat that gets you going again."

Winning the T20I series in India would be a great confidence boost for us: Paul Collingwood

With India's 8-run win in the fourth T20I, the series is tantalizingly poised at 2-2 going into the finale on 20th March.

Backing his team to get the job done, Collingwood said that England are treating it as a high-pressure knock-out game and it would be a huge achievement if they were able to beat India in their own backyard.

"This game feels like another great opportunity to get experience of knockout cricket under our belt. It's like a final for us. Coming away from India with a series win should be a huge confidence booster for all the players, it is one of the toughest places to come in the world", finished Paul Collingwood.

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Edited by Rohit Mishra
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