Aug 28 2012 By Jon Batham
DAWID Malan admits his hundred against Warwickshire at Edgbaston this week almost certainly saved him from the axe from Middlesex’s top six.
The mercurial left hander has found his form in spectacular fashion over the last seven days, hitting 140 against the champions elect at Edgbaston and following it up with 134 magical runs in Monday’s CB40 victory over Essex at Lord’s.
However, prior to his century against the Bears Malan admits he was in fear of losing his place.
Expectations were Andrew Strauss would be allowed to return to county duties by England, meaning someone would have to make room for the England skipper in today’s crucial Championship clash with Worcester at New Road.
The South African-born batsman figured he, Sam Robson and Neil Dexter were the trio under scrutiny and with the latter two having made 60 and 101 respectively in the first innings, while he had perished for just one, Malan figured it was a case of now or never.
In the event the ECB advised Middlesex Strauss needs more rest following the South Africa series defeat, but Malan did not know that as he hit a chanceless ton which came within four runs of a career best.
“It was probably going to be me to make way for Straussy if I’m honest,” he said candidly.
“I probably did not think that at the beginning of the game, but with Robbo making sixty and Dexy hitting 100 it was probably going to be my time.”
With those runs behind him you would think Malan could relax and enjoy the last two games, but the soon to be 25-year-old says he has now been in the game long enough to know form is a fickle mistress.
“The runs won’t mean anything if I get a first baller tomorrow – you have never got your place in this team nailed down,” he said.
However, he knows the double century stand he shared with skipper Chris Rogers has won his side vital breathing space in the battle to preserve Division One status for next season ahead of the battle with The Pears.
Middlesex are currently 40 points ahead of today’s hosts having played a game more.
“It was a nice feeling to get some runs and it was in one of those situations where if we had crumbled we could have lost and really been down in the dumps for the last couple of games,” he added.
“A couple of weeks ago if we had won up at Durham in a game we should never have lost we would have been pushing for the title and suddenly we had gone from that to looking over our shoulder, but after Warwickshire we are definitely in a more positive mood now.
“If we play like we did against Warwickshire and to our full potential at Worcester we will be fine.”