Dawid Malan willing to shift down England T20 batting order if it helps the team

Dawid Malan insisted he is unfazed at shuffling down the batting order if the situation dictates after emphasising his importance to England as they wrapped up a T20 series win over Australia.

The perception of Malan being a slow starter might have led to him dropping down to seven on Sunday as England turned to their middle-order dashers after Jos Buttler and Alex Hales had laid a platform.

But he was in his natural habitat at a chilly Manuka Oval in Canberra and anchored England's innings as they recovered from 54 for four to 178 for seven, enough for an eight-run victory to go 2-0 up with one to play.

Malan's 82 off 49 balls, including seven fours and four sixes, relied on timing over all-out aggression against a full-strength Australia attack and was extra special on his 50th T20 appearance for England.

However, he denied he had a point to prove at the outset, indicating he has moved down the line-up in the past - most notably against the West Indies and South Africa at last year's T20 World Cup.

"I feel like I've proved my point a hell of a lot before," said Malan, the former top-ranked T20 batter in the world, now at sixth.

"Ultimately, the way this team is balanced, if we get to a certain stage in the game, I think everyone's very flexible in the way they're going to bat.

"It was the same at the last World Cup, we chop and change depending on whether we want a certain player in at a certain time, especially if we get a good start."

If Malan is relaxed about the need to adapt in T20s, the 35-year-old is less understanding about the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB's) central contracts, which were announced earlier this week.

Malan was dropped to a lower incremental banding, having lost his Test spot after last year's Ashes, while Chris Jordan, England's leading T20 wicket-taker of all-time, no longer has any type of ECB deal.

The current structure introduced last year makes no distinction between the red and white-ball formats with all players now in a single list and on an internal pay scale, but there continues to be greater weight given to performances in Test cricket which Malan feels is unfair.

"There's obviously a slightly strange system with the contracting system," said Malan. "Hopefully white-ball cricket can get recognised as Test match cricket does.

"We'd like to be rewarded for our performances for England, that's what contracts are for, and if you're ranked top-five in the world for three years, you'd hope you get recognised with a white-ball contract.

"You have players here who have been leading wicket-takers in the history of the game for England who don't have a contract but those are decisions I don't make."

Malan shared a 92 run-stand in 52 balls with Moeen Ali, who contributed 44 from 27 deliveries in the partnership, to lift England to what seemed a competitive total at halfway.

Australia needed 34 off the last three overs, with Tim David on 40 off 21 balls, but the vaunted finisher was out two deliveries later after being bowled round his legs by Sam Curran, who took three for 25.

The 24-year-old left-armer has bowled the 18th and 20th overs in the last two matches and made crucial interventions on both occasions, suggesting he could be primed for the role at the T20 World Cup.

"As a bowler you get judged in those tough overs and moments and he's been standing up consistently for a young kid who's still finding his way in international cricket," said Malan.

"I guess that's what happens when you play in franchise tournaments and IPL and around the world; you get put in those pressure situations and you're expected to deliver."

While Ben Stokes made his second successive single-figure score, he showed his all-round pedigree by taking the wicket of Mitch Marsh, having already displayed a terrific piece of athletic fielding, catching in mid-air before offloading back on to the field before his momentum took him over the rope.

"He's a freak, isn't he," added Malan. "For a guy who's got a dodgy knee to move like he does is unbelievable.

"He puts everything on the line, he always has done and he's a fantastic asset for England."

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