CHANDIGARH: For a lot of overseas cricketers, performance in the IPL will have a direct impact on their dreams of playing in the T20 World Cup in India later this year. One such player is England’s Dawid Malan, the current No.1 ranked T20I batsman, who is hoping to make his maiden IPL stint with the Punjab Kings a successful one.
The 33-year-old Malan got a taste of Indian wickets during the T20I series between India and England in Ahmedabad, and he rates it as a great learning curve.
Excerpts from an interview…
On eyeing a World Cup spot:
Whether you play in the IPL or you don’t get a game, it gives you the opportunity to work with the legends of the game, improve on a lot of things, pick up a few tips which could potentially help you if you do manage to be part of that England squad for the T20 World Cup.
.@dmalan29’s absolutely loving the vibe of #SaddaSquad 😍Hear it from the world no. 1 T20I batsman 👂🏻… https://t.co/0LedvVt6zY
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) 1617121664000
On breaking into the top-heavy Punjab set-up:
I will be happy to fill in any role that the Punjab Kings would like me to. We have got good players in Fabian Allen, Moises Henriques and Nicholas Pooran who are able to bat capably down the order.
I don’t see Punjab giving me that role with those players around, I probably see myself as a top No. 3 or No. 4 batter if I get a chance.
On expectations associated with the No.1 tag in T20s:
Expectation is part and parcel of the game. When you don’t have a tag, people expect you to score runs but you are not compared to anyone else. We are all human, we can have good days and bad days. Sometimes you play situational cricket and sometimes you don’t. People giving opinions and criticism don’t really realize that T20 isn’t all about slogging every ball.
A royal clash to begin with! 💥Which match are you looking forward to the most? 🤩#IPL2021 #IPLSchedule… https://t.co/WXBczNDXnC
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) 1615118438000
On being a late entrant to the IPL:
You have to be good enough to be picked in this tournament. When you don’t play regular international cricket, it’s quite tough to break in. Also, since my goal has always been to play Test cricket, putting my name in the IPL meant I would miss the first 4-5 four-day games that clashes with the IPL. Probably I wasn’t good enough five to six years ago to put my name for the IPL auctions.
On Test cricket vs T20Is:
Times are changing. Having said that, the best T20 players like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle have all played red-ball cricket and got their basics right. Young kids need to focus on the basics and the fundamentals to fall back on if things are not going their way. Test cricket is still the fundamental structure of the game. If you don’t have the basics, you have nothing to fall back on.
On bio-bubble fatigue:
It is tough. We are very fortunate to have our jobs, as many people have lost their jobs in the pandemic. Staying in the room and just sitting around is tough. I head to the pool to get some fresh air. It’s tougher than what it actually appears from outside.