Malan longs to turn up the volume
Dawid Malan has set his sights on a strong finish to the LV= County Championship campaign as he pursues his ultimate ambition of one day representing England.
Malan was tipped for international honours following a spectacular announcement of his potential in 2008, when he struck a stunning 51-ball century against Lancashire in a Twenty20 Cup quarter-final.
That capped a season in which he managed 297 runs at an average of 74 to help Middlesex lift the trophy for the first time.
Yet, despite being relatively consistent over the ensuing years, Malan has never really stacked up the volume of runs that catches the eye of the selectors.
The 24-year-old is his own harshest critic, as proven by his assessment of this season’s four-day form.
Malan has made 369 runs at an average of 30.75 thus far, which - to most - could be considered a solid return given the extremely difficult early-season conditions.
“It’s not gone as well as I would have liked,” he admitted to ecb.co.uk. “Conditions have been tough but there are no excuses - I can think of a couple of 20s and 30s I did not capitalise on. That is probably my own fault.”
The trick for Malan now is to convert solid numbers into spectacular ones in the second half of the season.
He added: “I will be trying to improve in the second half of the season and hopefully do similar to last year, when I struggled in the first half of the campaign but then cashed in later on; that’s exactly what I will be looking to do once again.
“Hopefully I can do well in the last few t20s and that will allow me to take confidence back into the four-day game and hopefully get some more good scores.”
That is a must for Malan if he is to join a seemingly ever-growing list of players who are forcing their way into the thoughts of Geoff Miller and the rest of England’s selection panel.
“Everyone’s ambition and goal is to play international cricket and represent your country,” he said. “The only way to do that is to get picked for the Lions or the academy.
“My ambition is to make one of those teams. Obviously I need to score a lot of runs to do so but that is my ambition.
“For now, though, I have just got to focus on scoring runs for Middlesex, because the more I score for them, the more chance I have of getting into those teams.”