Sam Curran, on Thursday, insisted he was not looking to prove a point as he save England the blushes in the ongoing fourth England vs India Test with a fighting fifty.
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Curran was the unlucky player to make way for returning Ben Stokes in the third England vs India Test. Stokes was initially not a part of the Test squad due to the affray trial. However, he was included later after being acquitted by the court.
Curran was one of the most standout performers and biggest positives for England in the first Test at Edgbaston. The 20-year old impressed with both bat and ball to earn the Man of the Match award as England beat India by 31 runs in a low-scoring thriller. In fact, it was his knock in the second innings that eventually made the difference in the game.
The left-arm allrounder proved his worth right from the time he came to the crease. He scored a crucial 24 in the first innings that helped the hosts recover from a middle-order collapse and post 287. He then impressed with the ball. India had begun their reply on a good note with Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay adding 50 runs. However, Curran dismissed both the openers and KL Rahul in quick succession to leave India reeling at 59 for 3. He went on to finish the innings with 4 wickets.
Then came his first fifty in Tests when England needed someone to hold firm after being reduced to 87 for 7.
The youngster scored 63 off just 65 balls to take his side to a competitive 180, thus setting India a target of 194. In reply, India were all out for 162 with Curran taking the important wicket of Ajinkya Rahane.
But he had to make way for Stokes at Trent Bridge as Chris Woakes scored a fine century at the Lord’s. He got the chance to impress once again after being picked in the playing eleven for the ongoing game and he did not disappoint.
Curran came to the crease just after lunch with the hosts perilously placed on 86-6. He then put on an impressive 81-run seventh-wicket partnership with the returning Moeen Ali (40) to help England head towards a respectable total. The Surrey all-rounder was the last man to fall when he was bowled for a Test career-best 78 by spinner Ravichandran Ashwin with England all out for just 246. India then survived the four overs at the end of the day to close on 19-0.
Speaking after the day’s play, Curran said he was not proving a point despite being dropped for the last Test. He also admitted that he was disappointed over the snub.
“I did,” he told the media. “You can’t really leave someone out who has got a hundred. Everyone is fighting for their places. I was disappointed but luckily I’m back in the team now. I wasn’t proving a point at all. I was just playing the way I do, naturally and freely. I was unlucky obviously last week to miss out. There are some great names in the team and I’m learning so much.”
He then said that the pitch had “surprised” the home team.
“It was pretty tough,” he said. “It swung massively throughout the day and was swinging around consistently.
“I just tried to play my natural game. I love being in the side and I almost played with no fear, tried to be nice and positive and get some partnerships, not try to overthink it. Luckily enough it came off and we have a decent score on the board.
“I love batting and bowling. I’d like to be up the order a bit more at Surrey. I just look at the way Ben Stokes contributes and that’s what I want to do. That’s what all-rounders love doing: big performances when the team need you,” he added.