It isn’t so very often that a 20-year-old athlete comes of age for an international side in a meaningful way. But this summer England appears to be onto something with the promotion of Sam Curran, who made his Test debut just this past June.
A native of Northampton, Curran was born in 1998 (which ought to make plenty of cricket fans around the world feel rather old). And though he’s had the potential of a future pro since playing for Surrey at the U-15 level, no one could have predicted he’d have such a burst onto the international scene so quickly.
It all started at the beginning of August when Curran’s second Test saw him earn Man of the Match in the first Test of England’s series against India.
As match recaps put it, England had been yearning for a left-armer like Curran, as well as a player who could show the youthful exuberance that seems to be part of the package with this exciting up-and-comer. He was sensational in every aspect of his abilities in that Test, which made, some said, for something of a boost of England’s hopes in general.
The cricket world quickly took notice as well. While no one with experience covering the sport is going to get carried away with a single performance, a spotlight seemed to shine on Sam Curran. He earned more than his share of positive headlines and was even pointed to as a possible Man of the Match for the second Test in betting markets.
The idea obviously wasn’t radical following his earning the honour in the first Test, but the fact that bookmakers saw a second consecutive honour, as a likely possibility provides further insight as to how impressive the debut was.
The second Test against India was actually even stronger for England, and not quite as revelatory for Curran. However, the young phenom demonstrated good pace during the match, and also managed to generate a little bit of attention for his so-called “tennis shot.”
The shot was hit for six over square leg and proved to be one of the highlights of the second Test, which England more or less dominated completely.
The third Test will be held beginning on August 18th, and at this point, it’s fair to say all eyes will be on Sam Curran. All that remains to be seen is how he handles the intensifying attention, which can certainly get to any young athlete’s head. Given Curran’s bloodlines, however – remember, he’s the son of the late professional cricketer Kevin Curran, and his brothers play as well – he ought to be able to be prepared for what’s coming.