Playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he is exposed to high pressure situations improved the white ball skills of versatile Sam Curran, according to England substitute head coach Graham Thorpe.
The 23-year-old, who plays for the Chennai Super Kings under MS Dhoni, took a fifer (5/48) against Sri Lanka in the second ODI on Thursday to help England achieve a winning streak.
“I think that (IPL) has helped him tremendously,” Thorpe said. EspnCricinfo.
“Every environment Sam entered, he showed that ability to compete and his ability to find a way to perform. From that point of view, playing in the IPL put him in high pressure situations and shoot. ”
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Bought by CSK at the 2020 auction, Curran has already become a vital cog in the scheme of things, with skipper Dhoni handing him the bat and the ball in crucial moments.
“His hitting ability with the bat has always been there. I think it has progressed to a very good level,” Thorpe said.
“He’s bowling at important times in the IPL so he’s put under pressure and challenged. At 23 he’s having some really good experiences.”
Thorpe, who took charge of England’s ongoing ODI series against Sri Lanka in the absence of head coach Chris Silverwood, believes Curran is a “real competitor”, getting better and better every day.
“When he comes back and plays for England he has to fight for a place so he’s under pressure there as well,” Thorpe said.
“It’s not a bad thing. One of his great personality traits is that he’s a real competitor. We’ve seen him since he was a young boy, and his skill level is increasing. a 23-year-old is a good place to be. We want him to keep getting better and better. ”
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However, Thorpe believes the biggest challenge for Curran, who has competed in 21 Tests, 10 ODIs and 16 T20Is since his debut in 2018, will be balancing the three formats and producing consistent performances for the national team.
“Of course he still has to work very hard. His T20 cricket has progressed very well, but I think establishing himself as a player over 50 is a very important part of it as well. ‘be in the mix as well for trial cricket.
“It sounds like a lot of cricket. As you know, with someone like Ben Stokes the amount of work and the levels of fitness required for this are enormous.
“So the challenge for Sam to be a multi-format cricketer is to deliver that consistency to England time and time again.”