England head coach Trevor Bayliss has hailed the fighting character of Sam Curran after the youngster’s stunning performance in the first England vs India Test.
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.
It was a performance that made Curran an overnight hero. He is garnering praise from all over for his show and now Bayliss has also lauded the youngster.
“He wants to be in the fight – just like his brother (Tom Curran),” said Bayliss.
“They want the ball – they want to do the batting. When they haven’t got the ball or bat in their hands, they’re a little bit (agitated),” he added.
With momentum on their side, England will be looking to go 2-0 up in their five-match series when the second Test begins at Lord’s on Thursday. England, however, will miss the services of Ben Stokes who is due to stand trial on a charge of affray on Monday. It was Stokes’ spell that fired England to the thrilling win. The allrounder took three wickets including the prized scalp of Virat Kohli to give England the lead.
However, Bayliss does not expect Stokes’ absence, or the headlines it may create, to distract any of his colleagues.
“Obviously it’s something we would have liked to have not been happening,” the England coach said. “It will be interesting to see who can step up and take his place. That will be a telling factor for the next match.”