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Sam Curran’s tale of two halves

Sam Curran tormented India on their tour of England in 2018.

India were in a winning position in at least three test matches and it was Sam Curran who threw a spanner in the works with the ball, but mostly with the bat.

He scored the crucial lower order runs that the Indian bowlers could not. As a result, in the 50-50 scenario where India were in with a shout of victory, Curran spoiled their plans and wrested the momentum away from Indian.

That said, his returns have faded since. At the same time, Sam Curran is on an upswing in white-ball cricket and is always pushing for a spot in both the England ODI and T20I side.

England batting great and the team’s batting coach Graham Thorpe believes that the IPL has helped Curran to grow as a cricketer.

“I think the IPL has helped him enormously. Every environment Sam has gone into, he’s shown that ability to compete and an ability to find a way of putting performances in. From that perspective, playing in the IPL has put him in high-pressured situations and pushed him. His hitting ability with the bat was always there. I think that’s progressed to a really good level. He’s bowling at important times in the IPL, so he’s put under pressure and challenged. At 23, he’s getting some really good experiences,” Thorpe said.

“When he comes back and plays with England, he’s having to challenge for a place so he’s being put under pressure there too. That’s not a bad thing. One of his great personality traits is that he’s a real competitor. We have seen that ever since he was a young lad, and his skill level is going up. For a 23-year-old it’s a good place to be. We want him to keep getting better and better.”

That though does not mask the fact that his returns in red ball cricket have been fading away. Since Jan 2020, Curran’s test record is as follows: 10 tests, 13 wickets, Avg 49.69, SR 94.9, ER 3.14. In this period, Curran hasn’t picked up more than two wickets in an innings.

In 2021, Curran has scored only 87 runs from 5 matches at an average of 14.50, which is 10 units less than his career batting average. With the ball as well, he has managed to pick up just 6 wickets from 109.3 overs in 2021 at an average of 58.67.

Saksham Mishra

Justifying hours of watching sports by scribbling down a few logical lines that might just about hold your interest. Was not talented enough to make it as a professional cricketer, so the next best logical option was to enroll in a Mass Communication course, and write about sports instead. Because, what else is there to write about in this world, right?
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