The depth and variety in the Chennai Super Kings squad have not forced them to scout for a replacement for Suresh Raina who recently came back home due to personal reasons. Former India leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan feels MS Dhoni can promote English all-rounder Sam Curran up the order in IPL 2020.
Sivaramakrishnan said that Curran, who is essentially a bowling all-rounder, could play at No. 3 as a pinch-hitter and can help CSK boost the run-rate. Even if a wicket falls early in the innings, Curran would be able to make full use of the field restrictions.
“He (Curran) can bat at No. 3 and give CSK those useful runs. Over the years, we have also seen Dhoni preferring left-arm pacers. Curran can come in handy since he can swing the ball in the air and is a very enthusiastic fielder,” Siva told Times of India on Sunday.
In fact, Sam Curran scored a blistering 24-ball 55 against the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2019 which saw the Kings XI Punjab management promote him up the order to make optimum use of the powerplay overs.
For the record, Curran also picked up a hat-trick against the Delhi Capitals in the last IPL. The performances saw CSK buy him for ₹5.5 crore in the auction last December.
Sam Curran is a utility player for IPL: Siva
Siva feels pushing Sam Curran up the order might be the right way to go about it because a left-hander is better suited to negate the threat of leg spinners.
“In T20s, most teams employ leg spinners to trouble the right-handers. But then, a left-hander could negotiate with leggies easily. So, the loss of such an established batsman like Raina would hurt CSK. But they have a utility player in Curran and could send the southpaw up the order,” Siva added.
Even though the 22-year-old has played just 9 IPL matches, he has tonnes of T20 experience playing for Surrey in the Natwest T20 Blast in England. Sam Curran has a decent Test record too, having scored 728 runs at an average of 26.96 and picked 41 wickets in 19 matches.Published 31 Aug 2020, 13:24 IST