England left-arm quick Sam Curran, following his record five-wicket haul against Afghanistan in a Super 12 ICC T20 World Cup match on Saturday here, has asserted he wants to give his bowling side various bowling options going forward, and at a personal level, is keen to take as much confidence as possible from his exploits in the game.
Curran gave away just 10 runs and took five wickets in 3.4 overs as he decimated Afghanistan in the opening Super 12 (Group 1) game as England began their campaign in the showpiece event with an emphatic win. With Curran breathing fire, Afghanistan were dismissed for 112 before England knocked off the required runs in 18.1 overs for the loss of five wickets.
“Just trying to be as adaptable as possible, giving the bowling group loads of different options, and there will be some days where it doesn’t come off, which I’m very, very aware of,” said Curran following his exploits.
“Hopefully I can keep taking confidence, and all the other bowlers around me, we can all take confidence on that performance today, and we’ll keep working hard for the rest of the tournament.”
Curran re-wrote the record books, showing his liking for Australian conditions when he ripped through Afghanistan’s batting line-up. It was the first T20I five-wicket haul by any England men’s player and just the eighth time the feat had been achieved at a T20 World Cup and it all happened in what was the 24-year-old’s first appearance at a T20 World Cup, according to ICC.
Curran had missed out on last year’s edition in the UAE due to a stress fracture in his lower back, but is now a key member of the England squad as they look to advance beyond the semifinals this thime around.
Curran’s ability to find the right spot at the death stood out against Afghanistan, with four of his five wickets coming in the final three overs of the innings, which restricted Afghanistan. “I think anytime you play and you take on those tough situations, that’s when you want to be involved,” said Curran.
There was a question mark surrounding whether Curran was actually in England’s best XI, but the all-rounder has proven in recent times just how valuable he is. He picked up seven wickets during England’s seven-match series in Pakistan to be the side’s joint leading wicket-taker and a pair of impressive performances with the ball against Australia prior to the T20 World Cup only strengthened his credentials.
“I am always trying to improve. Always just trying to get better each day,” Curran was quoted as saying by ICC. “I guess I feel having had a consistent run in the side has really given me confidence, as well, going into game by game, and like I said, it’s a great bowling group to be a part of. We’re all very different, and yeah, just really enjoying the atmosphere in the group.”
On England’s upcoming match against Ireland, who knocked two-time T20 World champions West Indies out, Curran said, “Ireland is obviously going to be another very tricky game. We’ve seen the way they played in the qualifiers. They’re obviously a very dangerous team; got some match winners in there, as well.
“We’ll focus probably just on Wednesday’s game, but…there’s no hiding that Friday is going to be a pretty epic game against Australia at the MCG, which I’m sure will be an incredible experience for all of us, and hopefully we can go into that game having won on Wednesday.”