Curran: I was not proving a point to England selectors
Sam Curran rejected suggestions he had a point to prove to England's selectors after his important 78 gave Joe Root's side a fighting chance in the fourth Test with India.
Curran was left out of the third Test at Trent Bridge in favour of the returning Ben Stokes despite impressing with bat and ball in the opening two matches.
An injury to Chris Woakes provided Curran with another chance to impress and he duly took it on Thursday, the 20-year-old top scoring to help lift England's total to 246.
Curran – who shared an innings-high partnership of 81 with the recalled Moeen Ali for the seventh wicket – played with a patience his more senior team-mates lacked.
"You just try to do the best you can for your side, it wasn't proving a point at all," he told a media conference.
"I just tried to play like I played for Surrey last week and play the way I do – nice and positive and get some nice partnerships, not trying to overthink it.
"Luckily enough it came off and we've got a decent score on the board.
"I was unlucky to miss out last week, but I love being around the squad, around some great names in the team. I'm learning so much, I'm just enjoying my cricket."
England's top order toiled against swing early on at the Rose Bowl, with Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma their tormentors in-chief.
Bumrah's dismissal of Keaton Jennings began the early collapse, the seamer bringing one back into the left-hander after pushing them the other way in his previous over.
"Whenever you get a wicket it is always good but whenever a plan works it's a good feeling as well," he said.
"A dream delivery? I don't know about that, but it is a good sign when you get an early wicket, so I'm very happy.
"It's not a new ball [delivery], I usually have the in-swinger as well as the out-swinger for right handers. When you have options, you don't want to use them all in a single day. Whenever you feel that option is suitable you use it."