Middlesex coach believes out-of-form Malan will bounce back
Coach Richard Scott is confident that Dawid Malan can force his way back into Middlesex’s County Championship side after being dropped against Durham.
Malan has been Middlesex’s leading run-scorer in limited-overs cricket this season, averaging higher than any other batsman in both the YB40 and t20 competitions.
But his County Championship form has been wretched by contrast – he averages just over 15 in 12 innings – and that cost him his place in the side during Middlesex’s six-wicket win over Durham last week.
The 25-year-old has now been dispatched to work on his game with batting coach Mark Ramprakash, and is currently turning out for the second XI against MCC Universities at Radlett.
“It goes like this sometimes,” Scott told london24.com. “Dawid frees up in one-day cricket and he’s been magnificent for us, both in the YB40 and the t20.
“But for one reason or another, he just hasn’t hit his straps in four-day cricket and, with the likes of Eoin Morgan coming back into the side, something had to give.
“Dawid’s not achieved what he wanted to achieve this year, or what we wanted him to achieve. So he’s got to go away and work at his game, which he does – he’s a self-motivator and a hard worker.
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“Sometimes it’s good to take time out and re-evaluate your game and he’s doing just that. Everyone goes through these dodgy spells and it’s a good test of character.
“This is a testing time at the moment for Dawid, but we’re confident he’s going to be back with us very soon. There’s still a lot of cricket left in the season and he must be ready to come back in when we’re ready for him.”
Ramprakash is well placed to empathise with Malan, having experienced dips in form during his own, largely stellar, 25-year career – particularly when struggling to hold down a place in England’s Test side.
And Scott – who confirmed that Malan will remain an integral part of the team when Middlesex resume their YB40 campaign on Sunday – feels that Ramprakash’s specialist knowhow will prove invaluable.
“Mark’s got a lifetime of knowledge as far as batting’s concerned and he’s helped Dawid a great deal over the last couple of weeks,” added the Middlesex coach.
“You do relate to what it felt like for yourself, but the difference these days is that there is a support mechanism in place in the form of specialist coaches.
“I think that’s a massive plus for the modern-day player. I’m sure Dawid will draw off Mark’s experience and work hard to re-establish himself in the four-day team.”
The Panthers are hoping to welcome back seam duo James Harris and Toby Roland-Jones from injury as they attempt to keep their qualification hopes alive in the YB40 competition this weekend.
Harris, who has struggled with an ongoing side strain, and Roland-Jones, who picked up an ankle injury last month, are both expected to feature in back-to-back Group C matches against bottom side Unicorns at Lord’s on Sunday (1.45pm start) and Glamorgan the following day (4.40pm).