Sam Curran targets England Test recall after return to white-ball side

The Surrey all-rounder is building himself back up after a stress fracture in his lower back.

By Press Association Published: 8 July 2022 - 5.00pm

Sam Curran has marvelled at the beginnings of a revolution for England’s Test side and hopes to elbow his way into consideration for a recall against South Africa next month.

Curran has not added to his 24 Test caps since last August and endured a winter of hardship after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower back, but he is now back in England’s white-ball side.

They have just started a sequence of a dozen fixtures in 25 days which could give Curran an insight into whether he is ready to face the Proteas in a three-match Test series, starting on August 17.

It has been 11 months since Sam Curran last played Test cricket (Zac Goodwin/PA)
It has been 11 months since Sam Curran last played Test cricket (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Even if he is not, Curran is enjoying England’s adventurous approach in three Test wins against New Zealand and one over India, chasing down 275-plus totals in the fourth innings on each occasion.

And Curran seems to have embraced the positive mindset espoused by captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum after registering his maiden first-class century off 64 balls for Surrey last month.

“The way the Test team has played the last four games has been incredible to watch, it just looks like they have so much confidence and I’d love to be a part of that in the future,” Curran said.

“But at the moment it looks like a side that is playing really well. Hopefully I will keep building and building towards August but my focus at the minute is getting through these white-ball series.

“Come the end of July hopefully decisions will be made on whether my body is going well. But I don’t want to look too far ahead.”

Curran’s injury meant he was sidelined for the T20 World Cup, the Ashes and the tour of the Caribbean, only coming back into the international fray for a one-day series win in the Netherlands last month.

His workload continues to be monitored and he sent down just two overs in a chastening 50-run loss to India in the first T20 at the Ageas Bowl, although that was more of a tactical decision from England.

He took a fantastic full-length diving catch late into India’s innings and, after being absent for so long, he is happy to be back in action, despite England slipping behind in the three-match series.

“I was just glad to be back playing for England, it is a great feeling not putting too much pressure on myself,” he said.

“Obviously coming back now I hope to get some performances in.”

Jos Buttler started his reign as England's full-time white-ball captain with a heavy defeat (Mark Pain/PA)
Jos Buttler started his reign as England’s full-time white-ball captain with a heavy defeat (Mark Pain/PA)

The Jos Buttler era got off to a false start but England can draw level at Edgbaston on Saturday to set up a Trent Bridge decider on Sunday, and they may shake up their XI with games coming thick and fast.

David Willey could come in to bolster a batting unit where Tymal Mills was uncommonly high at nine in Southampton, while India will be able to call upon Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah after they were rested on the south coast following their Test exertions.

“You just have to keep going,” Curran said. “Some nights it doesn’t work, but you would rather get out trying to push it. We have just got to try and bounce back because we have got quality players.”

Buttler is now in the full-time hotseat following Eoin Morgan’s international retirement, while Matthew Mott was only appointed as white-ball head coach recently, but Curran does not expect much upheaval.

“With a new coach and a new captain that will take a little bit of time to get used to that but I don’t think much will change,” Curran added. “Guys will keep coming as batters, keep coming as bowlers.

“It is a bit different as Morgs has gone but Jos is very similar, very calm. Morgs will be a big miss but I am really looking forward to playing under Jos.”

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