Sam Curran’s Chennai Super Kings may not have progressed through the 2020 Indian Premier League group stages but our all-rounder grabbed plenty of headlines throughout the last month.
The left-arm seamer and left-handed batsman was something of a lynchpin for the Super Kings and ended the group stage as their most valuable player according to the league’s ranking system.
His 13 wickets and 186 runs came in a range of roles for MS Dhoni’s side, including opening up with bat and ball. This was Sam’s second year at the Indian Premier League, having represented Kings XI Punjab in 2019.
After a few important cameos early in the tournament (18 off 6, 17 off 6 & 15 off 5), Curran was bumped up the order to open for the first time in his professional career. He scored 31 from 21 balls as CSK put on 167 from their 20 overs against Sunrisers and looked to have found their winning formula.
A duck and a more conservative 22 from 25 balls followed before it was back to the finisher role. His first match slotting in lower down was a successful one personally as he hit 52 from 47 balls following a top order collapse. He only managed to bat once more, making 13 off 14, but ended with a handy average for this format of 23.25.
The bowler used second most by CSK, Sam got through 42 overs in his 14 appearances. His 13 wickets included the likes of Virat Kohli and David Warner and made him CSK’s top wicket taker.
Opening alongside right armer DL Chahar, his first wicket was that of Quinton de Kock in the opening showdown with rivals Mumbai Indians. He took three in the following match, including Steve Smith, and was rewarded with the opportunity to bowl at his brother Tom. Tom survived against his brother and eventually came away with the family bragging rights as Rajasthan Royals emerged victorious.
Shreyas Iyer, Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik all fell to our wily left-armer in the matches that followed but it wasn’t until the tail end of the group stage and a match against a star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore that he picked up his best figures of 3/19 with Aaron Finch, Kohli & Moeen Ali the scalps.
OFF THE FIELD
As well as being the heart and soul of the Chennai Super Kings on the pitch, Sam also became a source of pride for CSK and their fans. He earned the nickname ‘Kadai Kutty Singam’ which translates as ‘Youngest Lion’.
While in the UAE, he also had time to catch up with Ollie Pope & Tom Curran for our very own half-term press conference for Surrey’s Pride of Lions Members.
Now, Sam’s been named in the England T20 squad for this month’s tour of South Africa alongside his brother Tom, Jason Roy & Reece Topley. We’ll keep you posted on how they perform!