Adelaide, Nov 7 (IANS) England’s left-handed batter Dawid Malan is highly unlikely to be fit for the side’s semifinal against India at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, with all-rounder Moeen Ali saying his groin injury doesn’t look great.
Malan limped off the field in the 15th over after pulling up as he chased a ball to the boundary. He was padded up to bat as England suffered a wobble in the latter part of their chase, but was eventually not needed as the total was successfully chased down to book their semifinal spot.
“He is a big player and has been for a number of years. He has been one of our best players. I don’t know but it (Malan’s injury) doesn’t look great,” Ali, also England’s vice-captain, said to the BBC on Monday.
Malan is England’s highest-ranked batter in T20Is, but has been far from his best during the tournament. His highest score in the tournament is a knock of 35 off 37 balls in the five-run defeat to Ireland during the Super 12s.
If Malan isn’t fit in time for Thursday’s semifinal against India, England could use Phil Salt, the only spare batter in their 15-man squad. Salt has played 11 T20Is for England, with a highest score of 88 not out against Pakistan in September. Majorly an opener, Salt has also batted in other positions as a batter.
If not Salt, Ben Stokes could be possibly slotted in at number three, a role which he did well in the chase against Sri Lanka, then England could bring in fast-bowling all-rounders David Willey, Chris Jordan or left-arm quick Tymal Mills, meaning a deviation from their heavy batting approach which has been made up by batters and all-rounders.
Talking about facing India in the semifinals, Ali was excited by the prospect of facing the Rohit Sharma-led side at the Adelaide Oval. “It doesn’t get bigger and better than playing India anywhere in the world because of the crowds and they are such a big side and force in cricket. I am very excited and looking forward to it.”
Thursday’s semifinal will also be England’s first match of the tournament at the Adelaide Oval. It means that they will need to adjust quickly to the long straight boundaries and short dimensions square of the wicket. India had played previously in the Adelaide Oval, beating Bangladesh by five runs in a Super 12 match last week.