Ed Smith says Dawid Malan ‘remains in contention’ for an England spot

Ed Smith insists Dawid Malan “remains in contention” for an England spot despite being dropped for the second Test against India.

Malan averages below 21 in his eight Tests in England with a top score of 65 but struck a century against Australia in Perth during the 2017-18 Ashes.

England national selector Smith had suggested Malan may be better suited to overseas conditions when announcing he would be replaced by Surrey youngster Ollie Pope for the Lord’s Test – but has now said the 30-year-old is an option in all conditions.

0:29 Ollie Pope's first impact as a Test player was to easily run out Cheteshwar Pujara at Lord's

“With Dawid, we talked it all through, the decision and his game, but it also is about constructive feedback to give them the best chance to come back into contention. And he remains in contention,” Smith said at Lord’s.

“Moving forward we talked about how his strengths could come into play, but in no way did I mean that line [about overseas conditions] as an implicit criticism.

“He has scored over 10,000 first-class runs in England and has shown he can play very well on different surfaces. But in an England shirt, one of the things he has done distinctively is play very well in very alien conditions.

“He showed with that excellent Test hundred at Perth that he can play very well on the international stage.

“Not that many people score hundreds at Perth, not that many Englishmen have looked as comfortable at the WACA as Dawid did.

“So I wanted to reaffirm to him that one of the things we are looking at is having the right players for the right conditions, which is not horses for courses.

“I bridle at that sense because you wouldn’t play someone who can only play well at one ground. That is not going to happen. We are not interested in going back to picking one player for one Test.”

Watch the second Test between England and India on Sky Sports Cricket.

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