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29 June, 2017, 09:08
England's new Twenty20 hero Dawid Malan has admitted he feared worldwide cricket had passed him by - and insists he now wants to make his mark in the Test arena.
Malan marked his first senior England appearance with a superb 78 off just 44 balls in a 19-run victory over South Africa in Cardiff on Sunday that sealed a 2-1 Twenty20 series win. "It's tough, but you try and keep things in perspective and wait for an opportunity", Malan said. The 33-year-old batsman then flew home.
"I didn't think [the chance] would ever come, but nice to show what I can do".
"Then they (England) rested a few players for the Ireland matches. Reeza (Hendricks) didn't score as much as he wanted to, but I've seen him in the nets and he is a bright star for the future".
He had taken a break from Test cricket a few months back, saying that he wants to choose well so as to sustain his fitness levels till he leads his team to the big tournament. Hopefully the selectors are looking forward to resting those blokes again and I can get another chance. "Fortunately I was given another chance and I took it", added Malan, who on Sunday struck 12 fours and two sixes - the first off just his second ball in senior worldwide cricket. "You start knowing your game, what your strengths and weaknesses are and I'd rather be 29 on my debut and knowing what my strengths are than 21 and not being comfortable".
It helped the hosts set South Africa 182 to win, a target they fell short of as they made 162 for seven in reply.
Born in the London suburb of Roehampton, Malan's debut was all the more special for being made against the country where he grew up.
South Africa's recent performances haven't been up to mark.
Dropped catches and sloppiness in the field were unwanted features for the Proteas as they walked off having seen SA-schooled Dawid Malan make 78 and chase a target of 182.
"I want to play all three forms for England".
June 26 England's limited overs captain Eoin Morgan has defended missing Sunday's series-deciding Twenty 20 worldwide with South Africa, saying he had wanted to give younger players the chance to get some minutes on the pitch.
He said: "I am going to meet with the CSA (Cricket South Africa) in August, and that will decide my global future".
Dawid Malan was named man of the match after making the highest score by an England player on their T20 debut.
AB de Villiers has returned home midway from South Africa's tour of England.
The former Proteas skipper feels that the Test squad for the four-match series against England was "a lot more mature than our white-ball teams are".