England’s Dawid Malan delivered a stellar performance, scoring a century that led to a decisive victory over Bangladesh in Dharamsala. This win was crucial for the defending champions, who had previously suffered a setback against New Zealand.
Malan’s Match-Winning Performance
Malan’s game-changing 140 runs were scored off 107 balls, featuring 21 boundaries and five maximums. This performance solidified his position as an opener alongside Jonny Bairstow. It also silenced critics who questioned his inclusion at the expense of Jason Roy in this ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Malan’s Position in the Team: A Subject of Debate
Malan’s place in the England team has been a topic of controversy in the past. Despite his high average, his occasional slow starts in England’s T20 set-up have led to calls for his removal. However, his ODI record, which includes consistent high scores and a world-class average of 63.15 after 23 ODIs, is indisputable.
Malan’s Response to Critics
After his match-winning performance against Bangladesh, Malan stated, “I feel like every series I’m under pressure, so for me to keep silencing people is all I can do. If I can score as many runs as I can and help contribute to wins, then hopefully, eventually people’s opinions might change.”
Competition and Motivation
The strength of the England squad post their 2019 triumph made it challenging for top-order batters to secure a place. Malan acknowledged this competition and the disappointment of missing the 2022 T20 World Cup final due to injury as motivators to seize every opportunity.
England’s Journey in the Tournament
England’s victory over Bangladesh propelled them to fifth place in the table. They still have a considerable task ahead to recover from their early loss to New Zealand and secure a spot in the final four. However, with Malan in top form, England’s chances of becoming the third team in history to retain the men’s Cricket World Cup trophy, following the West Indies of the 1970s and Australia of the late 1990s and early 2000s, are significantly boosted.