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How will Tom Curran fit into KKR this season

Anas Ali
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 15:26 IST

Australia v England - Game 5
Can Tom Curran prove to be a good replacement for Mitchell Starc?

Indian Premier League giants Kolkata Knight Riders have officially named their replacement for the injured Mitchell Starc!

Surrey and England cricketer Tom Curran has signed up for KKR as the replacement for the Aussie fast bowler, who was ruled out of this year's IPL due to a tibial bone stress.

But how will Tom Curran fit into the KKR side this season?

Curran, who made his T20 debut for Surrey four years ago, in the game against Sussex at Hove, has emerged as a fine performer for his team, especially in the shorter format of the game.

However, with Mitchell Johnson already landing in Kolkata, earlier today, the English international will most likely be identified as a back-up for the experienced Aussie. But that being said, Curran's impressive skills-set could make him a key figure in Kolkata, during the course of this season.

The 23-year-old is by no means a direct replacement for the mercurial Mitchell Starc, largely due to his lack of pace. Tom Curran barely reaches the 140-kmph mark, meaning the chances of him leading the KKR attack, are almost non-existent this season.

That's, however, not to say that he's not talented at all! Curran acquires impressive bowling traits, which can be a boon for the IPL giants this season. His subtle change of variations, in particular, make him a useful bowler, particularly at the slog overs.

In the past few years, the youngster has proved his ability to restrict the opposition in the death overs by varying his length as well as pace. One of his greatest assets is his ability to bowl a deceptive, back of the hand slower delivery, which has already bamboozled a host of players in the English domestic circuit. In addition, his accurate yorkers also make him a unique component in the KKR bowling department.

It is very much possible that Tom Curran could get the nod ahead of Mitchell Johnson as he has been quite impressive in the International circuit, in the past 12 months or so. He made his T20 international debut for England, in the game against South Africa in Taunton last year, where he scalped three wickets. He also impressed in the ODI against Australia earlier this year, picking up five wickets, which included the dismissal of Mitchell Starc!

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The youngster has already scalped 12 wickets since his ODI international debut against West Indies last year.

Should the Englishman gets the nod ahead of his Australian counterpart in the first few matches, he will most likely be utilized during the middle overs of the innings, with Andre Russell and Kamlesh Nagarkoti being the frontline opening bowlers. Nagarkoti will most likely finish his spell, early on, leaving the likes of Curran and Russell to restrict the opposition with their variations, in the final phase of the innings. Simply put, the England youngster may take on the responsibility of Rajat Bhatia, during KKR's title-winning season in 2014.

Furthermore, Tom Curran is also a handy lower order batsman, who can definitely smack some runs during the end phase of an innings. He accumulates a striker rate of 128 across 51 domestic T20 matches and a highest score of 51 not out.

Tom Curran is by no means a tried and tested international who can quickly boost KKR's bowling department but the youngster has loads of potential and will be desperate to impress in his maiden IPL season!

It will be interesting to see how things pan out for this highly rated English pace bowler this season.


Published 03 Apr 2018, 12:57 IST
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