During the 2018 Test series, England all-rounder Sam Curran was the difference between England and India. Curran was the one who kept the Indian batters guessing and made a valuable contribution lower in the order.
Curran was selected Player of the Series for his steady performances throughout the five-match Test series. He hasn’t looked back since, since his stock has increased by a factor of ten. Punjab Kings bought him for 7.20 crore in the 2018 IPL auctions. However, the franchise did not make good use of him, and he was not re-signed by the Kings for the following season.
Curran’s fortunes changed in the 2020 auctions, when he was purchased for almost 5 crores by Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Curran, along with Ruturaj Gaikwad, was one of CSK’s shining lights despite the team’s failure to make the IPL playoffs for the first time in the league’s history.
Curran discussed his early impact on the CSK in an interview with ESPNcricinfo. “I believe it was a tournament where I was extremely fortunate. I was thrust into it at a young age, moving from Kings XI to Chennai, which worked out well in terms of joining a team with Stephen Fleming as coach, MS Dhoni as captain, and some major overseas players. It’s simply a place where you eat and sleep cricket. You’re constantly surrounded by guys, so you can ask questions, observe how they train, and pick up new tricks,” Curran explained.
“It’s an environment where you meet guys you wouldn’t meet in everyday life. For me, it’s been amazing. When you perform, it gives you a lot of confidence. There are no weak teams in the IPL, thus you’re always under pressure when you play. You simply go out and do what you do, and if things go wrong, you learn from it. You get confidence if everything goes well. This is a fantastic tournament for me. I’ve enjoyed every second of it.”
Curran is now playing in the opening Test against India at Trent Bridge, and will be trying to replicate his 2018 performance in order to help England win the five-match Test series.