Dawid Malan has stated that being a left-hander, he was happy that he didn't have to face Ravichandran Ashwin’s off-spin during the recent home series against India. Malan added that it was difficult to get used to the Indian pacers, who continued to throw tough challenges against the batters.
India outplayed England to go up 2-1 in the five-match Test series with a 157-run victory at The Oval. The series decider was scheduled to begin on September 10, but the fifth Test was called off due to uprising Covid concerns within the Indian camp.
As for cricket, India’s pace bowlers played an integral role in their wins at Lords and The Oval. However, there were sparkling debates over Ravichandran Ashwin's exclusion from each of the four Tests. Notably, Ashwin had performed well in the World Test Championship Final against New Zealand with four wickets across two innings, and later bagged 6/27 for Surrey in a 2021 County championship fixture against Somerset.
Dawid Malan, who made a comeback to England's Test side after three years, was pleased that he didn't had to face Ashwin, whom he regards as one of the best spinners in red-ball cricket.
"It's not because he's not a great bowler, he is a serious bowler. He is one of the best spinners that's ever played the game, but you know, it's hard for me to comment on why he wouldn't be playing," Malan told PTI in an interview
"If you look at the conditions and if you were playing two spinners he would probably be tougher (Ravindra Jadeja ). I guess the captain, or the leadership of the Indian team probably had the decision to make between Jadeja or Ashwin and they went the other way.
"They led 2-1 so you know you can't really argue (with that decision). I'm quite happy as a left-hander that he did not play, which is pretty good."
Malan further reflected on the challenges posed by the Indian fast bowlers throughout the series.
"They've all been pretty tough. I think the one thing about this Indian attack is they're all slightly different. They all have different release points and different things they do with the ball, which makes it so challenging you know you can never get used to (them)," Malan said.
"If you think you are getting used to one of them, they just come at you with different challenges all the time so you know it's really tough to pick them. They've all been really, really good this series."
The left-hander, having scored 106 runs from three innings at an average of 35.33 in the series, stated that he was not completely satisfied with his overall effort.
"Yes and no. You know, to get a score in that first Test was good…disappointed not to (have) capitalised on that one to score a hundred. It was a really good batting wicket so to get out the way I did this was obviously disappointing," the top-ranked T20I batsman said on his Test comeback.
"And then the first innings at The Oval. To get to 30 once again on a wicket that was playing well and to get out was tough, was disappointing from my point of view. You know I've come in, I feel like I've hit the ball well I've moved well."
Malan recently pulled out of the upcoming second leg of the IPL in the UAE, and was replaced by South Africa's Aiden Markram in the Punjab Kings side.