It is the year of the T20 World Cup and England's Tom Curran has already made himself a household name with a quality show against South Africa in the recently concluded T20I series. Having shown great skills and tactical acumen to win England the second game of the series by 2 runs, the Rajasthan Royals player is now looking to take on the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the IPL.
The all-rounder said that while he is a fan of the way the duo of Kohli and Rohit bat, he will be focussing on his own skills when he has the ball in his hand against two of the world's most destructive batsmen in the shortest format of the game.
"I think they are world-class players and it is about as a bowler looking to executing my plans and looking at my skills than theirs. It will be a great challenge and one that I looking forward to," he said.
Asked if he will be using the IPL as a platform to prepare for the showpiece event Down Under at the end of the year, Curran said: "Every game of cricket I play I feel will have an influence - however big or small - on my selection for the World T20 in Australia, but I am not really looking to think so far ahead and want to take one game at a time. Just trying to get better every time I go out to the middle."
Coming back to the thriller in Durban when he dismissed Bjorn Fortuin off the last ball of the innings to win England the game, Curran said it was all about backing his own skills in a game that is dominated by batsmen.
"That was really big. It is just one of those things and had that last ball gone for four, it would have been a completely different thing. It is just about trying to execute your skills and judge yourself on that rather than the other way round. We have seen T20 cricket is a batter's game and you want to keep it simple and execute your skills," he pointed.
The IPL will also see Curran share the dressing room with the likes of Steve Smith, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler among others and the youngster feels it will be a great experience to rub shoulders with some of the best in the business.
"It will be a great experience. Have been lucky to have played with and against them for a bit and know them well and looking forward to play with them and win games for the Royals," he said.
Primarily a bowler, he can also come in lower down the order and punch a pack with the willow and asked if he looks to emulate teammate Stokes - one of the best all-rounders in world cricket at the moment - Curran praised the latter's work ethics.
"I know Stoksey as a good mate and honestly, his training is second to none. It is great to be around such a great player," he said.
Finally, any talks with England's premier T20 bowler would be incomplete without speaking about making it a double in Australia as they already are the champions in the 50-over format. And Curran believes this team can.
"Absolutely, I think there is no reason why we can't. We have some unbelievable players and guys have played a lot of T20 cricket. So, we will definitely be up there," he signed off.