Malan admits England Test fears after stubborn Ashes display against Australia

Dawid Malan revealed that he thought he would never play Test cricket for England again after scoring an unbeaten 80 on day three of the opening Ashes Test against Australia.

After a difficult first two days England returned to the crease on day three a mammoth 278 runs behind their rivals, and after openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed were dismissed 20 overs into the second innings it looked as if the struggle was set to continue.

However a resilient partnership between Malan and captain Joe Root saw the visitors mount a fight back to move England onto 220/2 – 58 runs behind the Aussies by the close of play.

Following an unbeaten 159-run partnership Malan and Root will both no doubt be eyeing up centuries on day four, and whilst this has become a custom for the England captain over the past year, for his teammate it was a feeling he thought he’d never come across again.

After his impressive knock Malan admitted: “I thought I'd never play another Test again.”

Before being recalled for this summer’s series against India the Yorkshire batsman had not been involved in the English Test setup in three years, with his last outing coming all the way back in 2018.

However Malan has no doubt retaken his chance in the lineup thanks to his impressive knock in Brisbane on Friday.

The 34-year-old even revealed that during his partnership with Root out in the middle he told his captain just how much he had missed the Test match battle.

He went on: "I actually said to Root when we were on 40 or 50… we both had similar scores… 'I've really missed this'.

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"The Barmy Army were singing, the crowd was going and your adrenaline was going (too). I've missed having someone trying to blow my head off all the time.

“You are playing against the best bowlers going around. It's good fun. It's really good fun.”

During his absence from the Test setup Malan proved to be one of England’s star T20 players, becoming the world’s No 1 T20 batsman last year.

However he revealed competing in England whites at the Ashes is the ‘pinnacle’ of his career.

He said: "Test cricket is the pinnacle for me. You can do as well as you want in T20 cricket, 50-over cricket or whatever other format you like, but you're judged a lot by your Test career. To come to Australia and play against quality fast bowlers on these bouncing wickets is the real test.

"For us, an Ashes series is the biggest series of our calendar. To come here and get runs against this really good attack is very satisfying.

“I'm so proud to be able to stand out here in an England shirt. Especially to do it here at the Gabba in front of everyone."

Despite a spirited day three showing, the England No 3 is aware that the job is far from done and is hoping for another big outing on day four to keep his team in the game.

“We need another 250-300 runs tomorrow to put ourselves in a good position." added Malan.

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"The job isn't done yet. Just getting an 80 doesn't mean you've made it. It's about hopefully scoring the big hundred that will change the game."

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