Sam Curran has a reputation at stake, and a legacy to take forward. His granddad played for Rhodesia, his father represented Zimbabwe, and his elder brother-Tom Curran-made his England debut across all the formats in the last one year.
Curran made his Test debut against a visiting Pakistan at Leeds and returned with a wicket apiece in both innings. His side went on to win the match eventually. Little could one have imagined him doing the damage to the starry Indian top-order as a third pacer or a third wheel, as they say, while speaking of an additional seamer.
Additionally, he did some good amount of justice to his reputation in the first Test at Edgbaston. With three Indian top-order wickets in the space of eight balls, his name spread like wildfire on the web. Much was to be written about in the print stories the next day, but the impact had been made and the precedent had been set.
England won the match by 31 runs, took a 1-0 lead in the series, and 20-year old Curran was the chief architect behind an epic win.
England have had their fair share of pacers who have shown immense promise right from the start but have faded away into oblivion much sooner. Names like Simon Jones, Chris Tremlett and Ryan Sidebottom ring a bell and add Mark Wood to this, who has played just six Tests since his debut in 2015.
To put the right words behind this talent, it is safe to ask a certain question. Isn’t he one of the most exciting things in English cricket right now? He’s young, he’s energetic, and he’s got a decent record in the counties to look back at. As the series progresses, he will surely be a better bowler with more matches under his belt. A full series will surely be a platform good enough to evaluate his potential.
Add to his bowling exploits, he also knows how to wield his willow to the maximum. England were staring down the barrel in the second innings. Had it not been for his counter-attacking 65-ball 63, the match would have well been over with India clinching victory inside three days. He also chipped in with 24 in the first. No wonder he has admitted to hailing Ben Stokes as his hero and inspiration.
Well, to give fair credit to Curran for his contribution, his outstanding performance ran into the world superstar’s Virat Kohli’s magnificent effort, who, defiant as ever, refused to let go of the hold of the Test. He also managed to hold his own, not allowing himself to be overshadowed completely.
A bigger picture lies ahead for England.
With James Anderson in the final stages of his career, the cricket pundits would be eager and tempted to rate Curran as one of his successors. So what made the selectors go for this bloke to be drafted into the senior side?
Well, 43 first-class matches accounting for 124 wickets in just around three years speaks volumes about the youngster. An average of 28.21 of his age is something extremely heart-warming to see, especially if you are an English fan. That too, playing for one of the best counties in England, Surrey.
Curran may be required to do a lot in the coming future to make a strong case for himself in world cricket, but the spark has been ignited. It remains to be seen whether it flickers just for a while or beams with rays all around.
If things go well down the line, Sam Curran will be a name to remember in the years to come.