Record-breaking haul just the beginning for composed Sam Curran
Curran showed his likening for Australian conditions when he ripped through Afghanistan’s brittle batting line-up and picked up the astonishing figures of 5/10 from 3.4 overs during England's easy victory.
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.
Curran missed out on last year's edition due to a stress fracture in his lower back, but is now a crucial member of the England squad given his ability to perform well during any stage of an innings.
But it’s his ability to find the right spot at the death that stood out against Afghanistan, with four of his five wickets coming in the final three overs of the innings when keeping the runs down is of upmost importance.
"I think anytime you play and you take on those tough situations, that's when you want to be involved," a modest Curran said after his five-wicket haul.
"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.
"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."
A month ago there were questions marks surrounding whether Curran was actually in England's best XI, but the all-rounder has proven in recent times just how valuable he is.
Curran picked up seven scalps during England's seven-match series in Pakistan to be the side's equal 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 noted.
"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.
The five-wicket triumph over Afghanistan provides England the perfect start to the tournament and another key fixture against tournament hosts Australia at the MCG looms at the end of this week.
But first of all is a clash against Ireland at the MCG on Wednesday, in what could be a tricky match-up to decipher given the form shown by England’s European neighbours during the First Round of the tournament.
Ireland sent the West Indies packing out of the tournament with a crushing nine-wicket triumph over the Caribbean side in Hobart on Friday and Curran expects them to a difficult team to defeat.
“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,” Curran said.
"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."
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