Sam Curran is almost the right choice

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Sam Curran (via YouTube)

If Sam Curran could bat a bit better or bowl a bit better, he would definitely be a good addition to the England team.

If that sounds dismissive, it’s only because it made for a better opening sentence. Scurran is close. He’s just not quite there.


  • Left-armer
  • Swings it
  • Only 5ft9in – (if all the other bowlers are 6ft-plus, this provides variety)
  • Bats a bit


  • The usual fast-medium sort of pace
  • Doesn’t have a spectacularly good career record (but it’s very good this season (but that comes with the obligatory early season asterisk (although The Oval has been less seamer friendly than most grounds)))
  • Only bats a bit

If Sam Curran plays instead of Ben Stokes, England’s batting becomes a hollow nightmarish thing.

If he plays instead of Mark Wood, the attack starts to look a bit fast-medium (but at least they’d have a left-armer).

We guess his opportunity could be instead of Dom Bess if Stokes can’t bowl and England want four seamers. But that scenario would mean England aren’t playing a spinner.

All in all, we’d quite like him to play but don’t like any of the circumstances in which he would play.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


      1. I hate to sound geeky, but do they adjust average speeds for deliberate slower balls? Because if they don’t, then average speeds become meaningless.

        What we really want to know is the average speed of a bowler when he is trying to bowl fast, not the “chuck all his speeds in one pot and see what comes out” average speed.

        #justsayin #dontchasememyaveragerunningawayspeedisgettingslowerasigetolder

      2. Yes, it’s very woolly. Think they work on the principle that you generally get far fewer slower balls in Tests.

      3. Wow! I guess I bought into the detractors hype.

        For some reason I had the impression he was bowling at 80mph after his first spell. Goes to show how gullible I can be for commentary

  1. You’ve not answered the big question: how does his hair compare to his brother’s hair?

      1. Last time I saw it, his haircut was still quite offensive. Tom really takes the heat off him though, you’d be hard pushed to look bad next to him.

  2. If he plays, he will be the 28th debutant since Stokes made his debut in late 2013. Three less than the 31 in the golden era of 1993-1997. Of those debutants, Moeen has played 50, Ballance 23 and Buttler 17. James Vince is the 4th most capped of those players with 13.

    A cheery thought.

    1. Jesus that’s terrible isn’t it. Are the selectors picking the wrong players initially, are the right players just not out there, or is there something about the culture of the team preventing them from doing well?

      1. Didn’t see him in the 1st Test, thought he might be injured. Just did a Google news search. Wow! There’s no Bad Moeen, not in this Test team.

  3. Not picking a spinner?

    England spinners since the start of the Ashes: 8/940, 220 runs @17 (according to Barney Ronay, I haven’t checked – but it sounds about right).

    It’s not as if not picking a spinner could make things much worse right now.

    1. You wonder how much of that is down to the fact they’re generally beaten inside four days.

  4. Joe clarke as got more ebility than anyone it’s about time he was given a chance England are going nowhere with root as captain and bayliss as coach I really hope Pakistan beat them this week it’s the only way we are going to get rid of them

    1. Joe Clarke might well be the second coming. However, every time a young/youngish batsman is talked up as a future England player now I find my shoulders involuntarily slumping as I ponder what might be wrong with this one that means he is dropped after 7 Tests with an average of 26.5.

    2. Test cricket: ruining people’s county cricket favourites since 2014.

    1. Does Samit Patel count? If not, 6. But they’ve all been a bit rubbish.

      Ages ago: Woods, Staples, Cook
      Three since 2014: Robson, Billings, Curran

    1. ME Trescothick
      NRD Compton
      C Kieswetter
      JC Buttler
      IT Botham
      ID Blackwell
      C Overton
      DM Bess
      MJ Leach
      RL Johnson
      AR Caddick

      1. Great to see Blackwell getting two unrelated mentions in one thread – we still love you, in the unlikely event you’re actually reading!

  5. Steve Smith’s been talking.

    To be honest, I probably spent four days in tears. I was really struggling mentally and I was really lucky that I had some close friends and family members that I could speak to at all hours of the day. The people that I had supporting me through that whole time made a huge difference to the head space I am in now.

    I think this is illustrative of the problem in Australian cricket – not one of them has the first idea what they are talking about. They use words so confusingly that they are then unable to actually think straight, let alone to make good decisions.

    Let’s be clear about this – Smith was “struggling mentally” because he got caught cheating. Getting caught cheating is not a recognised mental illness. Remorse is supposed to feel bad. I’m happy for him if he now feels less bad, but only if that is because he has accepted the offence he caused and has learned a lesson. If he feels less bad because he’s been able to find a different “head space”, one in which he is somehow separated from the cheating he did, he really needs to go through the whole process again.

    Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. But that whole statement is such platitudinous bollocks, I really wonder whether any lessons have been learned. A better statement would have been:

    What I did was a huge mistake, and I am currently being punished for it. No excuses. I hope that I can get back into international cricket, but I realise that trust is a hard-won thing, and that losing it is very easy. All I can do is play, and be judged by how I play.

      1. For a moment I hoped I’d be able to see him and others in person in Canada (read: Vancouver), but they’ve quarantined them all to Toronto, Stanford 2020 style. Oh well.

      2. Winnipeg Hawks all the way for me, what a squad:
        Dwayne Bravo
        David Miller
        Lendl Simmons
        Darren Bravo
        Fidel Edwards
        Rayad Emrit
        Ben McDermott
        Ali Khan
        Hamza Tariq
        Junaid Siddiqui
        Tion Webster
        Rizwan Cheema
        Hiral Patel
        Mark Deyal
        Kyle Phillip

        Although Dwayne Leverock’s nephew Kamau is playing for Vancouver…

      3. Sounds like a great tournament – The Global T20 Canada Cricket League. The name itself will inspire countless millions to take up the sport. ECB take note.

        There are six teams: the Toronto Nationals, Montreal Tigers, Vancouver Knights, Edmonton Royals, Winnipeg Hawks and Cricket West Indies, born out of the partnership between the Canadian and West Indies federations in getting the league off the ground.

        More of the West Indies seem to be playing for the Hawks, however…

      4. I’m sticking with the Royals to ensure consistent nomenclature with the IPL, and because Afridi is the man! Also 2/6 of the teams are ineligible for my support because they feature CHEATING AUSSIE SCUM.

      5. If I wanted to watch people I’d never heard of play twenty over cricket, I could just go to the park and watch the Microsoft employees. Not worth the hassle of crossing the border and slogging up to Vancouver, even for Dwayne Leverock’s nephew.

        Plus, in Trump’s America, there’s a chance they won’t let me back in, and “to watch cricket” might not be the best answer I could give as to why I left the country.

      6. I’m not sure if what US Customs did to Lendl Simmons’ bat makes it more or less dangerous to cross the border with a Device of one’s own.

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