Sam Curran eager to state World Cup case as competition ramps up

Sam Curran eager to state World Cup case as competition ramps up

Sam Curran has hailed the competition for places among England’s white-ball seam attack as Jos Buttler’s squad builds towards the defence of their 50-over World Cup title in India later this year.
Curran took 4 for 29 in the second ODI against Bangladesh on Friday, including a devastating burst of 3 for 19 in five overs with the new ball, as England sealed the series with one game to play. He also struck 33 off 19 with the bat to provide a timely reminder of his all-round abilities in the format where he has most struggled to pin down a regular spot.
With Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer rested after the first match of the series, England were able to call on Curran and Saqib Mahmood, who was making his first international appearance since making his Test debut in the Caribbean a year ago, having recovered from a back stress fracture.
England could also select another World Cup-winner in Mark Wood, while Reece Topley and Olly Stone – who missed the tour of Bangladesh as part of the Test squad out in New Zealand – have recently returned to contention after injury problems. Throw in the likes of David Willey, Brydon Carse, Matthew Potts and Luke Wood, and England can hope to have a strong pool of seamers to pick from for the World Cup.

“It is a quality squad at the moment,” Curran said. “There are a lot of guys who have been on the Test tour who will come back in. Any time you play in a team for England you want to put in a performance but it shows we’ve got a great squad with Jof, Woakes, Woody being back now as well.

“Everyone has had a tough year with injuries and everyone is pleased to see the quality of the bowlers we have around. You saw how great the Test team were bowling as well.

“It is an exciting time and hopefully we can give the captain and coach some good decisions to make but right now I’m sure the bowlers just want to keep performing and be in that 15 for the World Cup. Conditions will dictate if there is extra pace or extra spin so it is about enjoying it and not putting on too much pressure.”

Curran was Player of the Tournament when England lifted the T20 World Cup in Australia last year, carving out a well-defined role as one of the side’s go-to death bowlers during the lead-up to the competition. His left-arm angle, ability to swing the new ball and then fall back on his variations later in the innings – not to mention his hype-aggressive approach with the bat – should make him a strong candidate to be part of the group in India, where he has a wealth of IPL experience.

His overall record in ODIs remains underwhelming, with 24 wickets in 22 appearances at an average of 37.29. In 2022, that blew out to four wickets at 72.65, having been largely used at first or second change; but in Mirpur he took the new ball for only the second time in 12 appearances and promptly produced his second-best figures (his maiden five-for, against Sri Lanka in 2021, also came when opening the bowling).

“It is a nice time to bowl as a seam bowler because you get swing and movement but it is tricky as well because you have to be on the money and start really well because the white ball doesn’t swing for that long,” Curran said. “In these conditions, your cutters, your slower balls and cross-seam deliveries may become useful as well. It is about adjusting and seeing what is in front of you.

“I don’t think too much to be honest. It is about chatting to the guys in the dressing room, guys who are out and what the surface is doing.

“I like to react to what is in front of me. I’m not a massive planner. If my cutters are working I’ll stick to them but today the ball swung so you play it as you see.”

Monday’s fixture in Chittagong is England’s last ODI until they play series against New Zealand at Ireland at the back end of the English summer, by which time the World Cup squad will have already been picked – although performances at the IPL, where Curran will fulfil a $1.85m contract with Punjab Kings, could also help sway the selectors.

“We don’t have much 50-over cricket during the summer so to play in these similar conditions as a group is cool,” Curran said. “It is a great series win as well, to win in Bangladesh is awesome. They hadn’t lost for a long time [since 2016-17] and we’re really proud of that.”

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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