India's tormentor Sam Curran showed early promise at Wellington

Sam Curran – who picked up the Man-of-the-Match award for his five wickets and maiden Test fifty in the first Test against India – showed plenty of promise during his time at Wellington college, says Dan Pratt.

Sam Curran sends one to the fence during his knock of 63 in England's second innings of the first test against India.   -  Getty Images

Early impression of Sam Curran at his alma mater – Wellington – was that of a batting all-rounder. "I would definitely say he was a batting all-rounder and in time, I think this will be more and more his role for Surrey and England," Dan Pratt, Head of Cricket at Wellington college tells Sportstar  on a day his protege bagged the Man-of-the-Match award in England's 1,000th Test.

Sam, at 19 years and 363 days, was the seventh youngest English player to debut in Test cricket when he took the field against Pakistan in June early this year. But it wasn't until after he was selected in the squad for the five-Test series against India that the Surrey cricketer showed just how capable he was with both bat and ball.

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The left-arm seamer ran through India's top order to leave it reeling at 76 for 3 on the second day of the just concluded Edgbaston Test before bringing up his maiden Test fifty in the second innings to help the host to a competitive total.

"He (Sam) is very talented and I hope in time he becomes a regular selection as a middle order batter with England and his county side. He will also bowl first change with the red ball and possibly open in white ball cricket in order to get early wickets if it swings," Pratt says.

Pratt, who coached Sam for four years, remains in touch with him. "It is great that he is still the same enthusiastic cricketer he was as a youngster," he says before adding, "[Growing up], Sam was extremely talented but would also train really hard and competitively, particularly with his elder brothers. He used to love playing golf as well."

School-level exploits

Sam, the younger brother of Tom Curran - his fellow Surrey all-rounder - is the son of the former Zimbabwe cricketer Kevin Curran.  "Sam and all the family are lovely people. When he joined Wellington, he was quiet and reserved but quickly made some very good friends who he is still close with now I believe," Pratt says.

The southpaw made his Championship debut as a 17-year-old in 2015 and even got rid of Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, not once but twice, in a county match against Yorkshire. The 20-year-old's exploits, therefore, are barely a surprise for his school coach.

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"Sam would train at every opportunity with both Wellington and Surrey. At school, he probably trained around 10 hours a week. Wellington 1st XI play in a competition called The Cowdrey Cup, which the school have won once, in the year Sam was an U-16", Pratt points out.

Talking about Sam's achievements in his school days, Pratt says, "Sam scored three hundreds vs Harrow School (an independent boarding school for boys in London) in three consecutive seasons. He also went away with England U-19s to the World Cup in his last school year but still completed his exams."

England beat India by 31 runs to go 1-0 up in the series and as the Test caravan moves to the Mecca of Cricket, Lord's, one could only hope that the short pacer from Northampton continues to grow taller in stature with each passing performance.

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