Eng vs SL, T20 World Cup 2022

Dawid Malan could be doubtful for England’s T20 World Cup semi-final in Adelaide on Thursday, after sustaining a groin injury during a field game against Australia at the SCG.

Malan limped off in the 15th after pulling up while chasing a ball to the border. He was kept on his feet as England collapsed in the latter part of their pursuit, but he continued to slip the order down and was ultimately unnecessary.

England have four days before their semi-final, which will likely be against India, offering them one day more than the teams that will meet in the SCG on Wednesday. At this stage, however, it seems unlikely that Malan will be able to recover in time.

“He was clearly in a bit of pain when he got off the ground,” said Adil Rashid. “Hopefully he will be good. We don’t know exactly what’s happening yet.” Phil Salt, who has yet to play in the tournament with Alex Hales who is the preferred opening partner of Jos Buttler, is the reserve batter in the squad. England’s three traveling reserves are Luke Wood, Richard Gleeson and Liam Dawson, so they don’t offer comparable batting coverage. Although Salt has started in his most recent T20I innings, he has hit in other positions.

If Malan is excluded from the tournament, it will be a tight turnaround to call up anyone from outside the squad, given the travel time to Australia, although the England ODI players who will be part of the series against Australia following the World Cup, expected to arrive on weekdays. James Vince, Jason Roy and Sam Billings are on that squad.

England had previously had to make one roster change, with Tymal Mills replacing Reece Topley who injured his ankle when he stepped on a boundary post for the warm-up match against Pakistan in Brisbane. They have called the same XI throughout the tournament so far.

Malan was in good form leading to the World Cup but had limited impact on the event with a best of 35 off 37 in the defeat to Ireland.

Should England have to change their batting order for the semi-finals, Ben Stokes’ role could become even more important. Effectively taking Malan’s place at number 3 in the chase against Sri Lanka, he had perhaps his best T20I innings for England, leading them home in a tense finish, although the pace required rarely exceeded a run- a-ball.

The semi-final will be England’s first game in Adelaide before the tournament, so it will involve the need to adapt to the dimensions, which are longer straight and shorter wicket square. India, their likely opponents barring disturbances on Sunday, faced Bangladesh in the group stage.

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