2020 Player Reviews: Captains to Currans

Published: 9th October, 2020

Surrey’s 2020 season saw us struggle to get going in red-ball cricket before a sweep of momentum in T20 cricket carried us all the way to the showpiece final.

We take a look at the how each player did in the truncated summer.

Although COVID-19 ensured only two months of cricket were possible this year, an intense schedule saw an incredible amount played over August & September.

Surrey managed one victory from five Bob Willis Trophy clashes but then a run of nine consecutive wins carried us through the South Group and to Vitality Blast Finals Day before a heartbreaking defeat to Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston last Sunday night.

Below we’ll look at the first set of players listed alphabetically in our squad, after our two Club captains, and the impact they had on the side this year.

Rory Burns

Our Club captain spent much of the summer in the Test bubble, scoring 254 runs as England registered series victories over both West Indies and Pakistan.

He did return to The Kia Oval from 28th August onwards however and was an ever-present in Surrey’s run to the Vitality Blast final. He scored 141 runs across nine innings in that format, even leading the side in the absence of both Jade Dernbach and Gareth Batty.

His one and only first-class appearance for Surrey however sparked a huge upturn in red-ball form, with his first innings 103 being a major factor in our only Bob Willis Trophy victory.

Jade Dernbach

A groin injury unfortunately kept Dernbach off the field of play throughout the entirety of the truncated season. He was, however, a constant presence around the team especially in the T20 format for which he captains the side.

Hashim Amla

After initial complications with Amla’s arrival in London due to travel restrictions around the world, Amla was central to Surrey’s nine consecutive Vitality Blast wins.

He came into the side and immediately set a precedent with 75 in a losing effort against Kent. That did provide some hope to the team though, who got that incredible winning streak under way in the very next match.

From that point he missed just the final group match, with a calf strain, and the 11 over semi-final. In total, he scored 271 runs in eight T20 innings from the top of the order.

Like Burns, his only first-class appearance this year was in the final game against Sussex. He managed 44 runs across his two innings

Gus Atkinson

The 22-year-old made his Surrey debut in the first-class fixture against Essex and has made a huge impact in the weeks that have followed. A zippy seamer and powerful lower order batsman, Atkinson has shown the temperament for the big occasion.

His 51 runs and 11 wickets in his 11 matches across four-day and T20 formats don’t tell the whole story, with Atkinson often stepping up to bowl in the powerplay and during the overs at the end of an innings. It was back at Chelmsford where he proved he can get the job done with the bat too, hitting a six off the final ball to finalise a huge run chase.

Gareth Batty

Deputising for the injured Dernbach as T20 captain, Batty clearly revelled in every moment out on the pitch. Turning 43 next week, the off-spinner is now contracted as a player/coach and obviously has worked very closely with the Club’s young spinners.

Daniel Moriarty, the Club’s leading wicket taker this summer, and Will Jacks, the Vitality Blast Player of the Year, have both credited Batty with a huge role in their form this year. He’s also worked a lot with Amar Virdi, who took 22 wickets in 5 Bob Willis Trophy matches, in recent times.

It’s not just his mentoring that makes Batts such a key part of the changing room though. He took 10 wickets and went at just 6.46 an over in his 10 appearances in the Vitality Blast.

Scott Borthwick

After four years at Surrey, Badger will return to Durham this winter with the Club’s best wishes. In 2020, Borthwick made eight appearances across the two formats played, passing 50 twice and taking 5 wickets.

His 92 in the Bob Willis Trophy opener against Middlesex was a real high point in his final season in South London. Good luck, Badge!

Jordan Clark

A side strain and then subsequent foot & ankle injuries limited Clark’s playing time this year, with just one appearance in both the Bob Willis Trophy & the Vitality Blast.

That Bob Willis Trophy match did include a valiant effort while seemingly injured to block out 66 balls for just seven runs as Surrey pushed for a draw against Middlesex. His wicket sparked a collapse that did see Surrey lose the match.

Clark’s only Blast showing came in very different circumstances as, after impressing with the bat in an inter-squad match earlier in the week, he was chosen to give added firepower to the team that would contest an 11 over semi-final with Gloucestershire. In the end, he wasn’t required with bat or ball but a useful card up your sleeve, no doubt.

Rikki Clarke

Mr Consistent in red-ball cricket picked up 13 wickets in his three red-ball appearances and then, after injury, played two T20 matches.

He was also the other half of that stubborn partnership that came so close to that final day draw against Middlesex at The Kia Oval. His 5/20 against Kent will be his best on-field memory from 2020 but the biggest piece of news for the all-rounder came off the field this year as it was announced the 39-year-old will enjoy a testimonial year with the Club in 2021.

Sam Curran

Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles. That’s the story of Sam’s 2020 summer.

He did make three England appearances for all his time with the England squad this summer but due to the nature of this year’s restrictions, was not able to rejoin Surrey between international commitments as regularly as he would have liked.

The all-rounder picked up seven wickets and 35 runs in his only Surrey match in 2020; the Bob Willis Trophy fixture with Kent.

Tom Curran

6 T20Is and 4 ODIs made up TC’s international summer but that sheer amount of time in Manchester or Southampton did leave him unavailable for Surrey selection at any point this year.

He’s now at the IPL, playing for the Rajasthan Royals, while his brother features for Chennai Super Kings.

Our 2020 player reviews will continue next Friday with the next 10 players, in alphabetical order, from our professional squad.

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