"Frustrating" to not play regularly, but Jack Leach accepts England's selection of all-seam attack
1 Aug 2021
Dawid Malan was called into the English side after the more fancied Test players and the team was without the experience of Ben Stokes, someone who thrives under pressure situations. To be called back in itself was a surprise for Malan, but what surprised the cricket pundits and journalists is the learnings that Malan had gathered in his time away from Test cricket.
Having played 15 Tests and averaged around 28 in his first go at Test cricket in the 2017-18 season, the 33-year-old feels that he tried a lot to become too perfect and wanted to score in every inning, but he just lets it be and plays with a realisation that failing is also a process and he is bound to fail more than he succeeds.
"I'm beginning to accept that I will fail in cricket. I'll probably fail a hell of a lot more than I'll succeed. Even the greats have failed more often than they've succeeded. And just accept that” Malan was quoted as saying to Cricbuzz. “When I get another opportunity make sure what's happened is in the past and play the way I play. If it's good enough it's good enough and if it isn't it just wasn't meant to be,” the southpaw added.
But asked whether he feels hard done by Ed Smith, the previous England Men’s selector especially because of the reason that Smith gave for his non-inclusion in the side after the first Test against India in August 2018, Malan said he couldn’t recover for the next five-six months from it.
"You work your absolute socks off in your career to earn the right to play for England and you get that call. To then have comments that derail you slightly as a player and get pigeon-holed into things, it's amazing how it leads to every single Tom, Dick and Harry having an opinion on you,” the left-hander lamented.
Smith had reasoned that Malan was not the right fit for English conditions. “It probably did affect me for the next four, five-six months,” said the player of South African descent.
But in a manner of poetic justice, the Yorkshire man has got a chance in the same month of August and against the same opposition, playing whom he was removed from the Test set up. Asked how he feels about it, Malan said, "I have always wanted to have another crack at Test cricket. Realistically did I think it would happen? Probably not. It's a fantastic opportunity, it's an unbelievable opportunity to get another crack when you didn't think it would happen."
Having played only on County game this season it was indeed a surprise that he was selected. But in that very game, the man had scored 199.