After being left out of England’s playing XI in the third Test match of the series against India, Sam Curran saved the blushes for England in the opening day of the ongoing fourth Test match at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton on Thursday. After the end of day's play, the young all-rounder said that Indian bowlers made it "extremely tough" for them and the ball swung around consistently. However, the Surrey star added that he wasn’t trying to prove anything to England’s management after scoring a brilliant half-century when the English top order surrendered to some brilliant bowling by the Indians.
"It was pretty tough. It swung massively throughout the day and was swinging around consistently," said Curran.
English skipper Joe Root opted to bat first after winning the toss, but their top order struggled from the word go as at one time the hosts were struggling at 86 for 8. However, Sam Curran, who is coming back to the playing XI scored a gritty knock of 78 runs, the highest in the first innings, to save England’s blushes and taking them to a more respectable score of 246 in Southampton.
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It was the Surrey all-rounder’s second half-century in just four Tests following a sensational match-winning knock in the first Test against India at the Edgbaston, where he was awarded the Man of the Match.
However, the 20-year-old was shockingly benched in the third Test at the Trent Bridge to make way for star all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was making a return after being found not guilty of affray. But the Surrey star said he understood why he was left out and is thankful that he is back on the playing ground.
"I did," he told the media after the end of the day. "You can't really leave someone out who has got a hundred. Everyone is fighting for their places. I was disappointed but luckily I'm back in the team now. I wasn't proving a point at all. I was just playing the way I do, naturally and freely. I was unlucky obviously last week to miss out. There are some great names in the team and I'm learning so much."
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Curran’s partnerships with Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad helped England to post a total of 246 after the Indian bowlers “surprised” the home team.
"I just tried to play my natural game. I love being in the side and I almost played with no fear, tried to be nice and positive and get some partnerships, not try to overthink it. Luckily enough it came off and we have a decent score on the board.
"I love batting and bowling. I'd like to be up the order a bit more at Surrey. I just look at the way Ben Stokes contributes and that's what I want to do. That's what all-rounders love doing: big performances when the team need you."