T20 World Cup: Dawid Malan a major doubt for England’s semi-final clash with India

T20 World Cup: Dawid Malan a major doubt for England’s semi-final clash with India

Dawid Malan remains a major doubt for England’s T20 World Cup semi-final against India after sitting out training in Australia overnight.

Malan tweaked his groin while fielding during Saturday’s win over Sri Lanka and did not bat as England secured the victory needed to reach the last-four.

While the Yorkshire batter has not yet been ruled out of Thursday’s clash with India, he is considered unlikely to make it and must train on Wednesday to have any chance of featuring in Adelaide.

Should Malan miss out, Phil Salt, the only spare specialist batter in England’s squad, is likely to come straight in for his tournament debut as a like-for-like replacement. The alternative would be to introduce a bowling all-rounder such as Chris Jordan, but Jos Buttler already has seven options at his disposal with the ball and has favoured a batter-heavy approach.

Salt missed out in a battle with the recalled Alex Hales to partner Buttler at the top of the order at this tournament, after both were given the T20 tour of Pakistan on the eve of the World Cup to impress.

Salt scored an unbeaten 88 off just 41 balls in the penultimate game in Lahore but Hales got the nod on account of experience and his excellent record in Australia. After a slow start, that decision has been vindicated by scores of 52 and 47 in England’s final two must-win group games.

Malan has been carded at three in an unchanged England lineup throughout the tournament, but Buttler’s side have been increasingly flexible with their order. Ben Stokes, who scored a vital 42 not-out from No3 against Sri Lanka, may be promoted ahead of Salt.

Replacement: Phil Salt could be set for his tournament debut (Getty Images)
Replacement: Phil Salt could be set for his tournament debut (Getty Images)

"The great thing with this side is there’s so many options,” said vice-skipper Moeen Ali. “You can put Ben Stokes at three, you can put Phil Salt at three, myself or whoever, there’s so many options.

"Malan would obviously be a big miss because he’s a brilliant player in T20 cricket and he has been over a long period of time - that’s if he doesn’t play, I actually don’t know yet. It doesn’t look great.”

India had their own injury scare overnight after captain Rohit Sharma was struck on the forearm while facing throwdowns in the nets. Rohit, who took over from Virat Kohli following last year’s T20 World Cup, looked in significant pain and was seen using an icepack but was eventually able to resume batting.