New Zealand vs England 2019 | Sam Curran wants to 'nail-down' Test spot
Young England all-rounder, Sam Curran is itching to make a comeback into the Test team for following a discontinuous start. With an experience of 11 Tests so far, the younger of the Curran brothers has scored 541 runs at an average of 30.06 and claimed 21 wickets at an average of 29. The numbers might not be unimpressive for a player at the dawn of his Test career, but the immense competition in England’s side has kept Curran on the sidelines.
Speaking to the reporters ahead of the first Test against New Zealand on Thursday, Curran reminded that only good performances will help him cement his place in the playing XI. In the past one year, Curran was dropped four times to accommodate all-rounder Chris Woakes into the side and despite a man-of-the-series performance against India last year, the left-hander found himself out of favor on most occasions. He said:
"The team was in a good place going into the Ashes. I was in all the squads, so that was a confidence booster. At the same time you'd love to be playing, and as the series went on you're itching to get out on the field."
"I think if I do get the chance, it is about nailing down my spot in the side and stop being the one that is vulnerable… That is my responsibility and whoever gets the spot, if it is me, has to take the opportunity by getting runs and taking wickets and contributing to the team. If I do get the nod, hopefully, I can go well and contribute with both bat and ball.”
For inspiration, Curran doesn’t have to look far, as Ben Stokes has been displaying world-class performances repeatedly on cricket’s biggest stages. Useful contributions with the bat and ball is what Curran wants aspires to do. He stated:
"As an allrounder, I look up to someone like Stokesy and the way he contributes with the bat up the order and he takes wickets when he bowls and that is what I aspire to do. As long as I'm helping to win games for the team then I'm happy."
"It's not necessarily new to me, I do do it quite a bit in county cricket but probably more overseas where the ball doesn't swing as much. Trying to get the batsmen to play a lot more coming by round the wicket, it is just about finding different ways."
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Sam Curran impressed in the second innings of the second tour match against New Zealand A, taking three wickets for 34 runs, including the priced scalp of James Neesham and was satisfied with his performance in the whites for England. The all-rounder also didn’t shy away from choosing the Dukes over the Kookaburra ball but he realized that he needed to adapt quickly playing at an international stage.
"It was nice for the bowling group to be put under pressure against some of their good New Zealand batters and I thought they played well… I think any bowler who bowls with a Kookaburra is going to say they prefer the Dukes but you've got to learn somehow.”
In four Tests in the 2018 series against India, Curran took 11 wickets and scored 272 runs to walk away as the most influential player of the series.