Matthew Mott reluctant to risk Dawid Malan and Mark Wood in T20 World Cup final

England head coach Matthew Mott is reluctant to roll the dice on Dawid Malan and Mark Wood at the T20 World Cup final and suggested the pair will need a lot of luck to be fit for Sunday.

Injuries to Wood’s right hip and Malan’s left groin meant they missed Thursday’s semi-final thrashing of India and the quick turnaround in fixtures leaves them major doubts to face Pakistan at the MCG.

Wood has been the fastest bowler at the tournament and taken nine wickets in four matches and while Malan has had his struggles, the former top-ranked T20 batter is a dependable figure at first drop.

Mark Wood has averaged 92mph at the T20 World Cup (Dan Himbrechts/PA)
Mark Wood has averaged 92mph at the T20 World Cup (Dan Himbrechts/PA)

Mott has not ruled either out but is happy with the options in the squad, which means there is no need to take a chance in England’s biggest white-ball fixture since the 2019 50-over World Cup final.

Ahead of England travelling to Melbourne on Friday, Mott said: “They are (struggling), definitely. We’ll assess them.

“Obviously the medical team will probably have a check up on them and we’ll probably get a bit of a clearer picture there. But everything would have to go right for them to be available at the moment.

“It is a real risk taking injured players into big games and I think you can really regret that, particularly when you’ve got players that can come in and do a good job.

“I think sometimes you gamble when you don’t have that depth, but when you’ve got players that are capable of finding a way through and doing a role I think it makes the decision a lot easier.”

Dawid Malan is a reliable presence at number three in the batting order (Scott Barbour/PA)
Dawid Malan is a reliable presence at number three in the batting order (Scott Barbour/PA)

England made a statement ahead of the showpiece by storming to a 10-wicket win over India, conjuring memories of their one-sided ODI World Cup semi-final triumph against Australia three years ago.

According to several England players in the aftermath of that win, Mott’s predecessor Trevor Bayliss made a telling intervention, reminding them that there was still a job to be done.

Mott, though, felt there was no need to make a similar observation this time.

He said: “I never try and rein it in after a win like that. I sensed that there was a real good feeling about a match that we were searching for, but I didn’t ever sense that there was anything over the top.

“We haven’t just come here to make the final, we’ve come here to win it. And I got a clear feeling that everyone was motivated to do that. It was a realisation we’ve still got unfinished business.”

And while Mott might have a simple message earlier in the day about doing the basics well, he will leave the final team talk to England captain Jos Buttler.

Mott said: “One of the things about people like Jos is when he speaks, people listen. He doesn’t waste his words. He saves his messages and he’s on point most of the time.

“He’s very collaborative, whether its’s Ben Stokes or Moeen Ali or anyone, he’ll seek their advice and counsel and he’ll be really clear on his decisions. His leadership, it’s growing all the time.”

Mott is one win away from being a T20 World Cup-winning coach in both the men’s and women’s game. His England appointment in June was off the back of his overwhelming success with Australia’s women’s side.

The MCG holds special memories for Mott as an 86,174-crowd turned out to watch Australia beat India and retain their Women’s T20 World Cup crown two years ago.

He added: “It seems like yesterday, the atmosphere was incredible. I remember the young families there that day, that was the thing that was special to me.

“In many ways, the final is one to be enjoyed. I think sometimes you probably get more nervous in semi-finals trying to get there and the final is almost an opportunity to go out and really have fun.”