Dawid Malan is hoping more scores like his majestic 199 for Yorkshire on day three versus Sussex at Emerald Headingley can pave the way for a return to Test cricket.
Malan, the number one ranked T20 batsman in the world, played the last of his 15 Test Matches for England in the summer of 2018.
The 33-year-old scored an Ashes hundred at Perth in late 2017, but a run of low scores to follow led to the selectors looking elsewhere for top order options.
Since then, Malan has shown his immense quality against the white ball in international cricket and has now posted scores of 219 and 199 in four four-day appearances since joining Yorkshire ahead of 2020.
His 199 today paved the way for a 245-run lead on first innings and a realistic shot at victory on day four, which Sussex will start on 38-0.
“I wouldn’t be here playing four-day cricket if I didn’t want to play Test cricket again,” said the left-hander. “I still feel like I’ve got a hell of a lot to give.
“Whether I’m good enough, that’s not my decision. I just have to keep scoring runs.
“Since I got dropped in the middle of 2018, I’ve gone away and done what I was told, which is score runs.
“Hopefully, if I keep getting big scores like this, I can put pressure on the people who make decisions.
“I think I played well in that Ashes series (2017/18). That was as well as I could have played at the time.
“I feel I now know my game better. Being back in the T20s and the odd ODI, I’ve learnt what I need to do to perform at that level. That’s really important.
“You’re playing against bowlers you play against all the time, but Test cricket is a different mentality and there’s more scrutiny.
“In my last five Tests, I probably didn’t handle that as well as I could have. Hopefully I’d be in a better position now.”
Malan spoke of a more “fearless” approach to his recent four-day batting.
“I’ve tried to learn from my failures at Test cricket and put that into practice in four-day cricket,” he said.
“It was slightly different when you’re playing against good bowlers and your place is under threat all of the time.
“Since 2019, I think my record speaks for itself just having that fearless approach in four-day cricket and backing my technique and way of playing.”
Malan was delighted to post a big score in front of a Yorkshire crowd watching him live for the first time since moving from Middlesex ahead of last season.
“We missed out last year, and it’s a fantastic place to play with them in,” he said.
“Everything they told me about Headingley being green and seaming around hasn’t happened, thankfully. The wicket played slow, and it was nice to cash in.
“It’s the first time they’ve seen the sun up here. It’s a totally different game here when it’s not cloudy.
“There’s hardly been any movement. Hopefully it breaks up a bit tomorrow and Dom (Bess) can show what a quality spinner he is and put us in a position to win the game.
“It’s not turning by any imagination, but for him to come here and have to work batsmen out and find a way to win a game, it’s a fantastic situation for him to be in.
“They (Ali Orr and Tom Haines) played well there, credit to them. We didn’t create a chance.
“Hopefully in the first hour we can pick up one or two. We have 30 or 40 overs with the second new ball, but hopefully we can finish it off before then.”