England skipper Joe Root, on Friday, said young allrounder Sam Curran took the news of his axing from the playing eleven for the third England vs India Test ‘extremely well’.
Curran was the unlucky player to make way for returning Ben Stokes. Stokes was initially not a part of the Test squad. However, he was included later after being acquitted by the court in the affray trial. But there were speculations that England would not include him in the playing eleven after winning the Lord’s Test handsomely.
But England could not resist the temptation of including Stokes in the playing eleven and Curran had to pay the price.
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.
He, however, had an average outing at Lord’s where he picked just 1 wicket and scored 40 runs. Moreover, Chris Woakes, who had replaced Stokes, cemented his place by scoring a ton and taking four wickets. As a result, Curran had to make way for Stokes.
The youngster would have definitely felt hard done by but skipper Root said he took the axing well. Speaking ahead of the third Test, Root said Curran displayed good maturity. He also said that the youngster could return to the team in the remaining games.
“He took it extremely well. Very mature for a young guy whose desperate to play and has come in and made a really impressive part to his Test career,” said Root.
“But he’s offered so much to this bowling group – and at the start of the series I said to the team for us to win a five-match series against the best side in the world, it’s going to take more than just 11 players. It’s about us as a squad performing collectively for five games, and he’s played a massive part in the first two.
“It might be that he comes back in later on. So ultimately, it’s about us as a squad delivering over a five to six-week period – and on this occasion, he’s unfortunate to miss out. But what he’s done so far has been nothing short of high-class,” he added.