ENG vs SL | 2nd ODI: All-round performance hands England unassailable 2-0 lead
2 July 2021
India had an upper hand going into the last match of the five-match long Test series against India and a lot of credit for the two wins they registered in the series went to their pace bowling attack.
They were at their best in most phases of the game and kept the hosts batting lineup on their toes throughout the four matches of the series. They rattled and ripped all the faultlines of the England batting in the open that compelled the hosts to drop two of their top three midway through the series. The duo of Zak Crawley and Sibley was axed for Haseeb Hameed and Dawid Malan after a loss in the second Test at Lord’s.
Malan, who batted at number three in the last two Tests of a truncated series rated the Indian bowling attack very highly and said that although all appear the same from the outset, all of them offers different challenges which never allows batsmen to get used to them. He said that India’s pacers were relentless and as soon as England batsmen were getting used to one of them, they used to throw a completely different set of challenges to throw the batsmen off their zone.
"They've all been pretty tough. I think the one thing about this Indian attack is they’re all slightly different. They all have different release points and different things they do with the ball, which makes it so challenging you know you can never get used to (them). If you think you are getting used to one of them, they just come at you with different challenges all the time so you know it’s really tough to pick them. They've all been really, really good this series," Malan told PTI in an interview.
The pace attack comprising of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Shardul Thakur picked the bulk of the wickets while the duo of Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma played their part in helping India to get a vital 2-1 lead in the series.
Malan was brought back to the England Test team after a long gap of three years as the England team management was in search of a technically equipped batsman who could stabilise the top order that looked shaky with the trio of Rory Burns, Sibley and Crawley in it. He started his return with a bang but could not carry on with big scores in the next innings of the fourth Test.
Discussing his own performance, Malan expressed disappointment of not converting starts into big and substantial scores against India. He was run out in the second innings at the Oval where the pitch was “pretty flat” and left England in the lurch in the afternoon session of the final day.
"Yes and no. You know, to get a score in that first Test was good.. disappointed not to (have) capitalised on that one to score a hundred. It was a really good batting wicket so to get out the way I did this was obviously disappointing. And then the first innings at The Oval. To get to 30 once again on a wicket that was playing well and to get out was tough, was disappointing from my point of view. You know I’ve come in, I feel like I’ve hit the ball well I’ve moved well," he added.
Malan will not take part in the remainder of the IPL 2021 after he pulled out of the tournament citing bubble fatigue with big events such as the ICC World T20 and the Ashes tour to Australia to follow right after the end of the IPL.