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Prior to Thursday's ICC Men's T20 World Cup semifinal against India in Adelaide, England has a selection conundrum.

After being forced off the field with an injury during England's victory over Sri Lanka in the first innings to seal qualifying from Group 1, Dawid Malan is anticipated to be unable to participate in the semi-finals.

The left-handed number three has been a cornerstone of the English T20I team in recent years, anchoring the top of the order and amassing 1748 runs at an average of 38.84.

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Malan has been around the top of the MRF ICC Batting Rankings for a number of years and has been at the top of that list for extended periods of time thanks to his consistency and volume of runs. He continues to be England's top-ranked T20 batsman, sitting at sixth in the world right now.

Malan's expected exclusion from the starting lineup against India presents a selection challenge for Jos Buttler's team.

The selection committee for England has the following options:

Pick Phil Salt as a direct batting replacement

The only batting cover for England in Australia is the powerful opener Phil Salt. Salt is the obvious choice if a batting-heavy selection strategy is preferred, but there are three other ways he could fit into the starting XI.

As a straight swap at No. 3

In Malan's situation, Salt could theoretically drop straight into the side.

The benefit of this strategy is that it would prevent England from having to change their batting order at a vital point in the competition.

However, Salt rarely fills that position for his county or franchise sides and has never been selected there for England. If he were to be selected, the squad would then have a top three that was made up entirely of right-handed players.

As an opening batter

Salt like to bat first, where he aims to get off to a quick start with lots of strikes. In his county and franchise T20 career, he has averaged over 150.53, and for England, he has a strike rate of 164.33.

Alex Hales would probably drop to number three if Salt were to open. Hales would be a frightening player to start at three, but shifting him now would be risky because he seems to have rediscovered his form at the top of the order and virtually exclusively opens in the T20 format.

As a finisher

If England decides to play Salt, a finisher position down the order would likely be the best place for him to fit into the lineup.

The Lancastrian's quick start does make him well-suited for that position, much to how Australia switched Matthew Wade from top-order batter to finisher.

It's unknown if Salt would rank five, six, or seven, and it would probably depend on the opponents and the circumstances of the game. However, England did put him to the test against the West Indies earlier this year, with Salt being chosen at seven and six respectively on three separate occasions. His ability to fill that role was demonstrated by a fast 57 from 24 balls.

By selecting Salt at seven, England would have the option of moving Ben Stokes up to position three, where he appears to fit better, and they would also be free to promote the dangerous Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, or both.

Replace Malan with an extra bowler

England used a batting-heavy approach during the Super 12 stage, naming four front-line bowlers and then utilising Stokes, Ali, and Livingstone to fill in for the remaining overs.

Buttler's choice seemed to be a bowling-heavy lineup before to the tournament, as England had regularly named five bowlers in the preceding six months.

Sam Curran is more than capable of playing as the number seven batsman if England decides to pursue such a strategy. To cover this, everyone in the batting order can simply be moved up one spot.

However, they would have two distinct options for the type of bowler they would bring in.

The death-overs specialist: Chris Jordan

Jordan has taken more T20 wickets for England than any other fast bowler, and he can swing a bat as well.

The 34-year-old had been a consistent selection in the team for the previous eight years, but he was dropped in the last year after getting completely destroyed in the last World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand.

In the later innings, Jordan's pace, variety, and death-bowling prowess would provide the squad another option and free up Mark Wood to attack the Indian top order early.

However, England has performed better than expected at the tournament's end thanks to a combination of Sam Curran, Wood, and the occasional over from Chris Woakes or Stokes. That formula's disruption can be viewed as risky.

The left-arm swing option: David Willey

Willey has been on the verge of England's white-ball roster since Jofra Archer's arrival knocked him down the list.

Willey is a wicket-taking swing bowler whose primary skill is finding swing and aiming for wickets in the Powerplay. He's skilled with a bat as well.

It could be alluring to select a player who has the agility to trouble India's formidable top order.

However, England already has Woakes, Stokes, and Curran as swing-bowling alternatives for those first six overs, so Willey might be viewed as unnecessary.

Willey as a Powerplay bowler, Jordan as a death bowler, Salt as a finisher, or Salt as a top-order hitter. England must make a crucial decision.

The decision they make might mean the difference between appearing in the World Cup Final and taking an early flight home.

England need a T20 World Cup triumph to be a great side, claims Moeen Ali

In addition to challenging England to add another title to the 50-over World Cup they won at home in 2019, Moeen Ali acknowledged that England had struggled to play well at the T20 World Cup.

England also reached the final of the 2016 T20 World Cup and the semi-finals of last year’s competition, but Moeen does not believe their previous success is enough for them to be considered a top-level team. “There’s a lot of talk about us being a great white-ball side and the England team has been really good, but we’ve only won one tournament and it’s important we start winning more as a team and as a country,” he said.

“Then we can really call ourselves a top side. We are a really good side. I get that, and we have been over a long period, but if we’re going to be a great side we need to win more trophies, and when I look back I want to say: ‘Yes, I was part of a great side.’”

Even though they lost to Ireland and advanced through the Super 12s by defeating New Zealand and barely edging out Afghanistan and Sri Lanka following tense run chases, England has not frequently looked that way in this tournament. They are aware that a substantial improvement would be needed if they are to reach another final when they play India on Thursday in the semifinals.

“I don’t think we’ve played well in the whole tournament,” Moeen said. “But we got the job done. We wanted to get to the semis. In the past we’ve played well and got through. This time I don’t think we’ve played well but we’ve got through and the best is yet to come with this side. I don’t think we’ve been near where we want to be, but now’s a great opportunity to put that right. You always talk about peaking at the right time and if you just about scrape through it means you can get better. If we play our best cricket in the next two games I believe we win the World Cup.”

Dawid Malan's groyne strain against Sri Lanka on Saturday means that England will probably have to alter their starting lineup for the semi-final. Early signs suggest that Phil Salt will replace Moeen directly, though other options are being examined. Team doctors have determined that he does not need a scan, but, while he is still receiving treatment, Moeen admitted: “It doesn't look fantastic.”

“Mala’s obviously a big miss because he’s a brilliant player in T20 cricket and he has been over a long period of time,” Moeen said. “The great thing with this side is there’s so many options. You can put Ben Stokes at three, you can put Phil Salt at three, myself or whoever, there’s so many options.”

After struggling to have an effect with the bat in Australia, Stokes' performance against Sri Lanka, in which he maintained composure while those around him lost their wickets, has proven his value to the team.

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