However, in his second game the 20-year old produced a performance for the ages at Mohali. Replacing Chris Gayle at the top of the order, he made 20 in just 10 balls to get his team off to a rapid start. And with the ball, he played a key role in an incredible collapse that saw the Delhi Capitals lose seven wickets for eight runs. Curran finished with figures of 4/11 in 2.2 overs, including a hat-trick, and picked up the man of the match award for those heroics. It was a night he won’t forget in a hurry as Curran soaks in the intensity and demands of the IPL.
“The crowds are huge and that is something I expected coming into the tournament,” he told CricketNext in an Exclusive interview. “The standard of cricket is extremely high and playing with some of the world’s best players. I am really enjoying playing at the moment and just taking it one day at a time.
“Learning to play in front of such big crowds is important. The surfaces have also varied in different parts. It’s my first time playing in India so the heat and humidity has been a challenge but I hope to pick a few things from all these great players and hopefully take something back for the English season.”
Sam Curran along with team members celebrates after claiming the wicket of DC's Colin Ingram during the Indian Premier League 2019 (IPL T20) cricket match in Mohali. (Image: PTI)
Although he isn’t part of England’s white ball plans, Curran attracted a massive bid of 7.20 crores at the IPL auction from KXIP. Quite clearly, Curran’s stock has grown after his eye-catching start in international cricket, especially his exploits against India in the Test series last summer. Curran, who took just one game to win his first man-of-the-match award, rescued England several times in the series with telling lower order contributions and chipped in with wickets at crucial stages, to be named England’s man-of-the-series.
“It’s been pretty remarkable to be honest, I am really pleased with the way I have started but aim is to keep learning, improving and to keep progressing every day,” says Curran. “Playing international Test cricket is a big learning curve for any player. It challenges you technically, mentally as well as physically. I have started well and hopefully I can keep pushing at it.”
While the IPL is the immediate focus, there is a huge English summer to look forward to for the Zimbabwe born Curran with the World Cup, immediately followed by the Ashes. Though he is a long shot to break into a strong England team for the World Cup, with 454 runs in 16 innings at an average of 32.42 and 15 wickets already in his young Test career, England will rely on him to win back the urn. Curran is hopeful he can be part of a squad that gives the nation something to cheer about.
“Obviously it’s huge (having World Cup and Ashes),” he says. “It’s a great time to be involved with the team and hopefully we can produce results on the ground and make it memorable for everyone. For me, the key is to take it one day at a time and not look too far ahead. Right now, my immediate focus is on the IPL and when I go back, I will start thinking about the English season.”
Curran of course is part of a strong English contingent that is currently in the IPL with his teammates Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow showing sparkling form for Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively. Curran is convinced that the exposure will only benefit them as cricketers and is eager to ensure that he contributes towards a memorable season for KXIP, who are yet to win the tournament.
“Everyone knows this is the biggest T20 tournament in the world and you’re playing with some of the greatest players in front of big crowds,” he says. “So, there is no excuse, it’s a tournament from which we can all learn something and take back.
“The team has a few good players, I am close to the likes of Dav(id) Miller, Andrew Tye, Chris Gayle, Moises Henriques and captain Ashwin. So, we have a really really good squad which is making some really good strides as we progress to the middle of the tournament. Hopefully, we can continue that and achieve something special.”
2019 iplcurrancurran hat-trickipl 2019Kings XI punjabkings xi punjab vs delhi capitalssam curransam curran cricketnextsam curran interview
First Published: April 5, 2019, 2:50 PM IST