Former England skipper Nasser Hussain has praised top-order batsman Dawid Malan for his ‘incredible’ consistency in T20 cricket, saying the left-hander delivers every time he comes out to bat.
The 33-year-old Malan, who made his debut in the shortest format of the game in 2017, has notched up a ton and seven fifties in the 14 T20Is he has featured in.
Malan has been in red-hot form in T20 cricket. After playing out an unbeaten 54-run innings against Pakistan last week, he was adjudged the man of the match for his 43-ball 66 against Australia which helped England win the first T20 by 2 runs on Friday.
“Every single time, he delivers. T20 is not that easy to be consistent because at times you have to go in and give it a bit of a smack, he has been incredibly consistent,” Hussain told ‘Sky Sports’.
“What I like about him is that he doesn’t overhit. He’s got long levers, but you never really see Dawid Malan slogging, he’s in real control of all those shots,” he added.
Malan has admitted his remarkable form has even surprised him.
“It is a good story as well and he is almost admitting that he’s surprised himself. When we’ve done domestic cricket, he wouldn’t have been one of the first names on your list,” Hussain said.
“There was Alex Hales, Sam Billings and people like that, young guns who we would all be saying ‘watch out for these lads, they’re going to be pushing’ and they have pushed.
“Dawid Malan was going under the radar but it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing in domestic, what matters is when you put an England shirt and helmet on, how do you do there?” he added.
The 52-year-old feels England currently have a very strong limited-overs side with several quality players going up against each other to get into the team.
“This white-ball team, probably in the last four or five years is the strongest that England have ever had. It pushes you to keep improving. Where I slot in, I don’t know.
“It is really hard to get into this team, we’re all aware of that but if you keep putting performances in then you never know what can happen,” he added.
Hussain credited skipper Eoin Morgan for reining in his players.
“Sometimes in that environment, people start playing for themselves – ‘I’ll get myself 40 in 30 deliveries’ – Morgan won’t let them do that,” Hussain said.
“There was that game in Napier where (Malan) got his hundred, last ball of the innings went through to the ‘keeper, he was at the non-striker’s end, he was tired, not out and didn’t run.
“Morgan absolutely tore a strip off him and went into the press, which is unlike Morgan, and said something like ‘if our batsmen don’t run off the last ball we might not win the World Cup’.”