Paull Collingwood on Dawid Malan: “One thing this team has done so well in the past four years, this new era of white-ball cricket, is back their cricketers; he’s got an opportunity again to do something special [in fifth T20I on Saturday]”
Last Updated: 19/03/21 5:04pm
England assistant coach Paul Collingwood has given his backing to batsman Dawid Malan in his attempts to relocate his top T20 form in their series decider against India on Saturday.
Malan is the No 1 ranked batsman in the world in international T20 cricket, averaging 55 with a strike-rate of 149.01 in his 14 appearances prior to England’s tour of India. But he has struggled for his usual fluency in this series, scoring a combined 80 runs at a strike-rate of just 103.89 over the first four games.
India vs England
March 20, 2021, 1:00pm
With the series tied at 2-2 heading into Saturday’s decisive fifth and final match – live on Sky Sports Cricket from 1pm – Collingwood is backing Malan to come good.
SATURDAY SERIES DECIDER! 💪👀
India edged out England by eight runs in a thrilling fourth T20I to tie things up at 2-2 and set up a winner-takes-all series decider! #INDvENG 🇮🇳🏴
Watch the fifth T20I – 1pm, Saturday, Sky Sports Cricket 📺📱💻 pic.twitter.com/tP05L0ebAH
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) March 19, 2021
“Dawid hasn’t quite found his rhythm on this tour but you’ve got to remember where he is in the world rankings and that’s no fluke,” Collingwood told reporters on Friday.
“What he’s done with an England shirt on in T20 cricket has been pretty much exceptional up until this series.
“He’ll be the first person to say it hasn’t gone quite as well as he’d like in the first four games, but he’s got an opportunity again to do something special [on Saturday].
“He has been unbelievably consistent, to the point where you know fine well once he gets in he will go on and get a big score. Sometimes it only takes one shot that comes out of the middle of the bat that gets you going again – we have all been there.
“One thing this team has done so well in the past four years, this new era of white-ball cricket, is back their cricketers.
“As a player, you need the security of knowing you’re not going to get dropped after a couple of games, because we do ask a lot of them. They go out there and are expected to score at strike-rates of up to 140. If you look at his record, Dawid does exactly that for us.”
After England’s eight-run defeat in the fourth T20I on Tuesday, allrounder Ben Stokes said the team welcomed the pressure of a winner-takes-all finale on Saturday, seeing it as the perfect planning ahead of the T20 World Cup back in India in October.
Collingwood, who captained England to their previous T20 World Cup win in 2010, echoed those sentiments, saying: “This game feels like another great opportunity to get experience of knockout cricket under our belt.
“It’s like a final for us; two fantastic sides going head to head, who are in good form and playing some good cricket. It’s a huge game and both teams know it.
“Coming away from India with a series win should be a huge incentive, it is one of the toughest places to come in the world.
“It would be a great confidence booster for all of the players, to play against such a high-quality side in their own backyard and to win the series. There is a lot of excitement around to have the chance to do it.
“Obviously, we would’ve loved to have been well ahead, but it’s not the case and we can still get still get a lot of positives out of this last match.”
Watch the fifth and final Twenty20 international between India and England live on Sky Sports Cricket from 1pm on Saturday.