Eng­land door opens for Malan af­ter Roy in­jury

Side strain rules bats­man out of Pak­istan T20 se­ries Thorpe stands in as head coach in place of Sil­ver­wood

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Tim Wig­more

Dawid Malan is set to re­turn to open the bat­ting for Eng­land in the Twenty20 se­ries against Pak­istan, af­ter Ja­son Roy was ruled out of the se­ries with a side strain.

Malan has an out­stand­ing record for Eng­land in T20 cricket, av­er­ag­ing 52 in 10 games, but has strug­gled to break into the first-choice top three of Jos Buttler, Roy and Jonny Bairstow. But with Buttler rested fol­low­ing his Test ex­er­tions and Roy now un­avail­able, Malan is likely to open. Tom Ban­ton should also slot into the top three.

Eng­land have opted against call­ing up a re­place­ment for Roy, happy with the op­tions they al­ready have in the rest of their 13-man squad.

Roy had a scan on Wed­nes­day and Eng­land are op­ti­mistic that he will be fit for the three-game T20 and one-day in­ter­na­tional se­ries against Aus­tralia that fol­lows.

“We have all bases cov­ered,” said cap­tain Eoin Mor­gan. “Dawid, in par­tic­u­lar most re­cently, has put to­gether an early es­tab­lish­ment of a ca­reer. Ev­ery time he is avail­able, he has put him­self for­ward as the next man in, sim­ply by weight of runs and the rate at which he has scored them.”

The three-game T20 se­ries is Eng­land’s first in the for­mat since it was con­firmed that this year’s T20

World Cup would be post­poned, and the 2021 edi­tion will be played in In­dia. Mor­gan said that the se­ries was vi­tal as Eng­land assem­ble their T20 squad, with Test play­ers such as Buttler and Jofra Archer likely to re­turn against Aus­tralia.

“I think this is an­other op­por­tu­nity for guys who would po­ten­tially sit out­side that 15 to try and present their best case mov­ing for­ward for win­ter tours and the World Cup next year,” Mor­gan said. “Op­por­tu­ni­ties like this don’t come around very of­ten.”

Mor­gan urged those se­lected to play with ag­gres­sion. “The mes­sag­ing from my­self and the coach through­out the ma­jor­ity of the se­ries we play is to feel as com­fort­able in an Eng­land shirt as you do in a county shirt. To ac­tu­ally feel free enough to play the ex­pan­sive game you would at your county, within in­ter­na­tional cricket.

“Our job is to get the best out of the guys who are in that squad. In or­der to achieve that, guys need to feel com­fort­able and free enough to take risks that in­ter­na­tional T20 cricket de­mands.”

For the first time, Gra­ham Thorpe will as­sume the role of Eng­land head coach, stand­ing in for Chris Sil­ver­wood. He will be as­sisted by Paul Colling­wood, Mar­cus Trescoth­ick, Jon Lewis, Azhar Mahmood and James Foster.

In the frame: Tom Cur­ran takes a selfie with the Eng­land squad at Old Traf­ford yes­ter­day

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