England batsman Dawid Malan insists he is ‘nowhere near as good’ as India captain Virat Kohli despite his superior Twenty20 international average and strike-rate.
Malan produced innings of 66 and 42 to help England take an unassailable 2-0 lead in their T20 series against Australia. The third match takes place on Tuesday.
The Yorkshire star has passed 50 in more than half of his T20 innings for England, climbing to No. 5 in the batting rankings in this form of the game since returning to the side at the end of 2019.
Malan in fact currently boasts a better T20i average and strike-rate than Kohli – widely considered the best player of his generation.
Asked about the comparisons, Malan said: ‘I don’t think I’m anywhere near as good as Virat Kohli even though the numbers are sort of suggesting that.
‘Maybe if I played 50 games I could be compared to some extent. But all I can do is score runs.
‘If I keep doing that hopefully it will make it hard for them to ignore what I’m doing and I can somehow find a way into that starting XI.’
Despite his brilliant form for England over the past 12 months, Malan remains a fringe player and could be vulnerable when the injured Jason Roy and the absent Ben Stokes return to the team.
Malan admits it is a difficult situation but says he is focused on his performances for England, with two T20 World Cups on the horizon.
‘It’s been tough,’ Malan added. ‘We all know how good the players are that hold those positions.
‘Their records over the last four or five years have been fantastic. For anyone to break in, you have to be extremely consistent and win games of cricket for England.
‘Hopefully I’ve ticked a few boxes that Eoin and the selectors and coaches want, and hopefully I can keep building on this if I get opportunities.’
England will replace Australia as the top-ranked T20 team in the world if they secure another victory on Tuesday, but Eoin Morgan’s side will be without Jos Buttler, who has left the bubble to be with his family.
Subject to Covid-19 testing, Buttler will return ahead of England’s ODI series against Australia.
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