Former Indian cricketer turned expert analyst Aakash Chopra slammed IPL outfit Punjab Kings for deciding to retain English all-rounder Sam Curran whom they bought for a then highest bid of 18.50 Crores during the mini player auction for IPL 2023 edition.
In contrary, Sam Curran failed to live up to the expectations as well as the price tag for which he was bought in. The 2023 edition proved to be a semi-par season for him where his form fluctuated from hot to cold across the 14 matches he played even if some bothering to argue about the 2023 season being his best individually.
Sam Curran scored 276 runs at a strike rate of 136 with a half-century to his name. It was perhaps his best season with the bat since making his IPL debut back in 2019. However, with the ball Curran was not even close to being at his best, accounting for only 10 wickets with a worst ever economy rate of over 10 in his 4-year IPL career.
His economy rate has been nearly around 8-9 before last season and he also conceded the most number of runs in a particular season – 489. Curran’s performance directly raised question marks over his dependency and Punjab Kings’ decision making on splashing such an amount for him without taking account of his form.
The only reason that Sam Curran became one of the most expensive entities in the IPL was because of his performance during England’s T20 World cup 2022 triumph in Australia where they defeated Pakistan in the final. Curran finished as the tournament’s 2nd highest wicket taker with with 15 wickets including a 5-wicket haul and was also adjudged as the player of the tournament.
But when he came to participate in the IPL, Curran was nowhere near the level he showed during the T20 WC and Aakash Chopra believes that he was trusted by the Punjab Kings because there were only 3 all-rounders in the auction for 2023 season.
“I was extremely surprised. Why did you retain Sam Curran? They have parked 18.50 crore rupees in one place. I won’t call him a non-performing asset but a very expensive asset for sure. He was sold for that amount because there were only three all-rounders in the small auction.” – Chopra said.
Aakash Chopra Blames Trevor Bayliss And Claims Sam Curran Was Lucky In T20 WC 2022
Aakash Chopra claimed that one of the reasons why Sam Curran had a terrific outing with the ball during the last T20 WC edition was because of the huge side boundaries in Australia. Chopra brought forward Curran’s poor performance since then in the IPL 2023 and the SAT20 and claimed that he hasn’t done anything significant in the last 1 and half year.
“If you see his performances in the last IPL, the SAT20 now or the last year, he hasn’t done anything special for the last 12-17 months. He has just played well in the 2022 T20 WC and that too because the side boundaries were very big in Australia.” – Chopra added.
Lastly, the 46-year-old blamed Punjab Kings’ English head coach Trevor Bayliss as the one to retain Sam Curran who could have been brought back to the team cheaper than his current price through RTM card if he was released in the auction held last December.
“He should have been released. There was a buyback option as well. You could have got him for half the price or even cheaper, but Punjab said they would keep him with them. Is that the Trevor Bayliss connection? I don’t know, I am just contemplating.” – Aakash Chopra concluded.