Big brother Tom wants to make it two Currans in England side

All-rounder Tom Curran is working hard to regain his place in the team to play alongside Sam — India’s nemesis at Edgbaston.

Hit for six: Sam Curran contributed with bat and ball to help England defeat India at Edgbaston.   -  Getty Images

Three years ago, when Sam Curran cut his teeth in Surrey, his elder brother Tom would protect him. But the Test match against India at Edgbaston — his second and England’s 1,000th — pushed him into the big boys’ league without Tom, who was nursing a side strain at the time of selection.

The gargantuan stage, against the No. 1 Test side, brought the tough out of Sam.

The all-round gig — a fighting 24 in the first innings, a fiery spell of pace bowling (4 for 74) to shake the Indian top-order and then a gritty 63 in the second innings to help England to 193 — earned him the Man-of-the-Match award as England beat India by 31 runs in the first of the five-match series on Saturday.

23-year-old Tom Curran has played 16 international matches for England. Photo: AFP

 

“I used to put an arm around him when he came to Surrey. Now, growing up, he has learnt his stakes a lot more. He is a grown man. It is great to see him do this well. When he had an opportunity [to represent the national side], he took it and performed. I am proud of him. Hopefully, it is a start of a big series for him. He deserves it,” Tom, also an all-rounder, tells Sportstar in a telephonic chat from the United Kingdom.

‘Competitive cricket’

Tom is a right-hander, while Sam is a lefty. They have a three-year age difference, yet the English bowling brothers are best of mates. They also have a third sibling, Ben, who represents Nottinghamshire Second XI. “We have been playing cricket our whole life. We have grown up playing competitive cricket all the time, right from the backyard cricket days at home,” adds Tom.

Read: Losing father as a teenager was 'pretty tough', admits Sam Curran

Kevin Curran, their father, represented Zimbabwe and even played two World Cups — 1983 and 1987.

“Our dad is the biggest influence on our cricketing lives and I am sure he would have been very proud. We played non-stop at our backyard. We never had an umpire, so there used to be a lot of debate over controversial decisions [such as] the leg-before dismissals,” he reminisces.

Read: Sam Curran showed early promise at Wellington college

Later, the brothers took the cricket academy route to enter Surrey. Tom made his international debut in 2017. Sam entered the arena this year.

‘It is a dream’

The Currans are used to deconstructing each others’ performances. “We share a lot of our cricket. We discuss where we could have done better. It all started with the Surrey side when he came in. I will be working to get back to the England side to play alongside Sam. It is a dream. I had a bit of injury but now, I am back to playing T20 cricket,” reveals Tom, who represented Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League this year.

Talking about the ongoing series, Tom pointed out his favourite Sam moment. “It’s gotta be his batting, when he hit Ishant Sharma over the extra cover boundary for a six to get to his fifty.

“Edgbaston was great advertisement for Test cricket. It will be an exciting series and there will be ups and downs for both the sides,” he reasons.

Right out of teenage, Sam perhaps will look forward to stocking a few more champagne bottles. If it comes at the cost of rewards, why not? Game on.