- Dawid Malan completed a hugely impressive series by replacing Jason Roy
- His superb century at Lord’s followed scores of 54 at Cardiff and 96 at the Oval.
- Off-spinner Moeen Ali claimed 4-50 as New Zealand were bowled out for 211
There’s still plenty to think about as England consider the final squad for their World Cup defense, but one thing is now certain: Dawid Malan will step down when they begin the tournament, also against New Zealand , in Ahmedabad next month.
Malan, so often underrated among England’s power-hitting line-up, cannot be ignored after completing a hugely impressive one-day international series replacing Jason Roy with a superb century in the 100 runs that took them given a 3-1 series victory.
This followed his 54th defeat in the opening defeat at Cardiff and his 96th victory at the Oval which marked Malan’s brief absence at Southampton to be at the birth of his son.
And that means top performer Roy, who was missing again due to a back injury which has now ruled him out of the entire series, can hope for when England name their final squad next week is a reserve place in the stick.
That too remains uncertain, as England will be reluctant to take an injured player on a grueling World Cup tour of India with so many internal flights, even though it is an integral part of their rise to become the dominant white-ball force at the world. like Roy.
Dawid Malan scored a superb century in the ODI final against New Zealand on Friday
Tim Southee suffered a broken and dislocated thumb while dropping a catch to Joe Root at gully
The situation is further complicated by Harry Brook’s failure to seize the opportunity presented to him when he was added to this squad to face New Zealand after their controversial omission from the World Cup first place provisional.
Brook was back in his middle order for this fourth one-day international, with England resting Ben Stokes, but he could only make 10 from 15 balls to follow his two failures as opener. fortune at the start of this series.
He is the favorite to edge Roy when England declare their final hand – and they could add Roy to their squad for three matches against Ireland, starting at Headingley on Wednesday – but that is far from certain.
There are also concerns over two batsmen crucial to England’s hopes of successfully defending the 50-over title they won so spectacularly in the last one-day international against New Zealand at Lord’s , the World Cup final four years ago.
Jonny Bairstow again looked out of form and nervous here before being put out of his misery on 13 by Matt Henry while Joe Root again looked out of sorts being dropped twice before being bowled for 29 by Rachin Ravindra. Both will travel, of course, but both could be content with scores in England’s two warm-up matches before the World Cup opener on October 5.
There are no such concerns with Malan. He appears to be constantly fighting for his place, with England clearly originally relying on the proven opening partnership of Bairstow and Roy to lead their charge in India.
But time and again Malan has defied the doubters and here he showed his class by hitting 127 from 114 balls to top England’s 311 from nine on a slow Lord’s pitch, far from favoring his preference for pace.
In the process, Malan scored a thousand ODI runs in just his 21st innings, with five centuries and five 50s, the same number of runs as the illustrious trio of Sir Viv Richards, Kevin Pietersen and Babar Azam. He really couldn’t do more to consolidate his position.
Off-spinner Moeen Ali claimed 4-50 as New Zealand were bowled out for 211
Rachin Ravindra smashed a quickfire 61 before being bowled by Sam Curran
“To break into the England white-ball team, you either have to be a monster or you have to be consistent,” said player of the series Malan. “I had to try to be as consistent as possible and put winning performances on the board.”
It was too much for a New Zealand team that suffered injury after injury on the field, the most serious being that of Tim Southee, who dislocated and fractured his right thumb while dropping Root. The World Cup hopes of one of New Zealand’s best bowlers are hanging by a thread.
Only Ravindra excelled as New Zealand followed up their four wickets with a maiden ODI half-century and launched a late onslaught in vain with 21 in an over off Brydon Carse.
In the absence of Adil Rashid with a sore calf, Moeen Ali took over with four wickets as New Zealand crashed to 211 for nine, with Southee unable to bat and a complete defeat.