Tom Curran spent last summer watching on from the bench as Liam Plunkett returned to the England XI in place of Moeen Ali and was a key part of winning the World Cup. Since then Plunkett has been unceremoniously dumped and Tom Curran has come in, in his place in the ODI team and remains a key member of the T20 set up.
So 2020; Tom Curran key paceman, especially this summer with many of the senior bowlers tied up in the test bubble; this was Tom Currans time to shine.
Whilst flying under the radar; Curran has had a woeful 2020.
Analysis ODI 2020
In 2020 he has bowled 51 overs in ODIs and taken one wicket (against Ireland) at an average of 261 and a strike rate of 306. Whilst economical at 5.12 runs per over, not taking wickets in the modern age means that teams can continue to accumulate with wickets in hand before being able to accelerate later in the innings. Wickets are worth far more than being economical. His predecessor in the side, Plunkett, excelled at just that during the middle overs; Curran who doesn't get the new ball, is not pulling his weight here. Mark Wood operates in the enforcer role in the middle overs superbly picking up a three wicket hall in his solo ODI this year. Keeping wickets falling and preventing set batsmen from reaching the final 10 overs is key to restricting scores and yet Curran isn't taking wickets in the middle overs and not at the death where his skill set is famed.
Analysis T20I 2020
Curran has had a better year of it in T20Is with a respectable average of 34.75 at a run rate 9.27 which whilst hardly setting the world alight, isn't awful. However problems are all around in these stats too. In South Africa, whilst he took wickets at 23.8; he also went at 10.82 in a series of high scores. Where as in the Australia series he was exceptionally economical at 7.36, he took one wicket at 81.
Rajasthan Royals have had a very poor year and have underperformed as a whole, Curran who started in the Royals first 5 games has had a shocker with the ball. 3 wickets at 69.33, going at 11.44 per over is miserable reading and he now finds himself behind Stokes who may just be starting to find form with the bat. In a team who's bowling has been extremely poor, it is telling Curran is on the bench.
It is notable that I haven't mentioned his batting; Curran is a good batsmen holding very respectable numbers in both ODIs and T20s (notable for his number of not outs). However given the incredible talents of the England batting line up; and with Chris Woakes in ODIs already being a bowling allrounder of strong pedigree to boot; Curran should be truly be judged for his bowling.
On the basis of his 2020 exploits, it is fair to say Currans position in the white ball squads should be under significant scrutiny. Whether he's been figured out or he's struggling to find form post lockdown. His brother Sam, is known for the catch phrase "make things happen" and is possibly his biggest competitor for a position in the side. Let a lone a battery of up and coming youngsters from Mahmood to Brown. Not forgetting David Willey, who despite being man of the series against Ireland and having a ridiculously good record in the powerplays in ODIs and T20, was not in the Pakistan or Australia squads.
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