Recalled Dawid Malan reveals anger at ex-England selector Ed Smith

Recalled England batsman Dawid Malan reveals his anger at former selector Ed Smith, who dropped him in 2018 after making comments about his technique which ‘derailed’ him

  • Dawid Malan has returned for England ahead of the third Test against India 
  • England’s top order woes led to Malan’s recall after he was dropped in 2018 
  • Malan has opened up on his being axed left him reeling for several months 
  • He insists he has unfinished business at the crease and is targeting big scores 

Dawid Malan makes his return to Test cricket after a three-year absence on Wednesday, claiming his career was derailed by then national selector Ed Smith.

Smith dropped Malan after the first Test of the 2018 series against India, saying a batsman who had made 140 against Australia in Perth the previous winter was ‘better suited to overseas conditions’.

Malan, now 33, battled back in international cricket against a white ball and has become the top ranked world Twenty20 batsman. But he thought his Test days had come to an end before his recall for Wedesnday’s third Test at Headingley.

Dawid Malan has admitted the manner of his dropping for England three years ago still hurts

‘When you get dropped you’re very emotional,’ said Malan at the adopted home ground where he made 199 for Yorkshire against Sussex in June, his last red-ball innings. ‘And once the dust settles you look back and think, “Do you know what? I didn’t score enough runs, particularly in those last four or five Tests”. But those comments didn’t help.

‘You work your socks off to earn the right to play for England but then you get comments that derail you and make you pigeon-holed. It’s amazing then how every Tom, Dick and Harry has an opinion on you and every time you nick off, those comments come back to bite you.

‘It probably did affect me for four or five months and every time I went away for tournaments I couldn’t get in the right head space. But after a bit of a break when I had gathered my thoughts, I found a new lease of life.’

Malan is expected to bat at three at Headingley after a three-year absence from England duty

Smith departed in April and now Malan is back because of England’s top order shortcomings.

‘I have always wanted to have another crack at Test cricket but, realistically, did I think it would ever happen? Probably not. So this is a fantastic opportunity at something I never thought would happen.’

Malan’s opportunity comes after a desperate shortage of red-ball preparation this season and just five days after he was playing in the Hundred eliminator for Trent Rockets. 

‘My worry when I was called up was, “When do I get a day off?”,’ he said. ‘If we’d won that eliminator I’d have had 12 days on the trot with this Test, so I was concerned about that and how I was going to face up against a red ball. But it’s exciting.

Malan’s Test with England comes just days after he appeared in the Hundred eliminator 

‘Not playing with the red ball doesn’t help with the rhythm of Test cricket but that’s the challenge we’re facing,’ added Malan. ‘It just is what it is with Covid and scheduling. 

‘It’s tough to fit everything in and I understand it can’t be easy from an ECB point of view to get all those things right. We as players just have to get on with it.’

He hopes this unexpected chance will lead to another Ashes tour this winter where he had his greatest moment as a Test player. ‘I’d love to have another go down there,’ he added. ‘But the only way I’m getting to Australia is to earn the right here.’

Malan has a point to prove after his recall and insists he is now targeting an Ashes squad place

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