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‘My goal is to play all three formats for England’: Sam Curran is ready to be the new Ben Stokes

‘My aim is to play all three formats for England’: Sam Curran gears up to show he can be the new Ben Stokes, as the all-rounder looks like his impressive performance at Old Trafford in the series decider against South Africa to support

  • Sam Curran made a vital 35 off 18 balls against South Africa in the second ODI
  • He also took David Miller’s main wicket as the Proteas dropped to 83 all-out
  • The all-rounder scored his first hundred first class earlier this season
  • Surrey’s Curran said his aim is to play ‘all three formats for England’

Sam Curran gets another chance today to show that he can fill the void left by Ben Stokes’ one-day international retirement, as England attempt a come-from-behind Royal London Series win over South Africa achieve.

Curran produced an impressive performance in the first game of the post-Stokes era at Emirates Old Trafford on Friday night, taking 35 from 18 deliveries to revive an England innings that had fallen to 101 for six.

Then, having changed the game in Manchester with the bat, he effectively settled the outcome with ball in hand as he sent the dangerous David Miller to leave the Proteas 27 for five behind 202 – thus becoming Sunday’s decider on to be put into Headingley.

Sam Curran scored his first division 100 for Surrey earlier this summer

Sam Curran scored his first division 100 for Surrey earlier this summer

“I’ve always looked up to Stokesy as a cricketer. I almost want to try to copy it. He is clearly a huge loss and the boys will miss him,” said Curran.

“I’ve always tried to follow the way he trains and plays. Obviously he has now retired from one-day cricket, but he will go down in history as one of England’s greats.

‘I try to be positive. That is the message that Jos has given to me and the team. In the situation we were in, we didn’t want to hit a target of 145 to 150.’

Like his fellow southpaw Stokes, the 24-year-old is capable of turning matches upside down with aggressive hitting, and bolstered by his first-class hundred against Kent last month, he shot South African spinners with a air raid, including three sixes.

Curran described his failure to make three figures earlier as “annoying”, but he hopes to increase his claims for promotion in the England line-ups by making more man-of-the-match contributions.

The all-rounder played an essential 35 out of 18 cameo in the second ODI against South Africa

The all-rounder played an essential 35 out of 18 cameo in the second ODI against South Africa

“For Surrey, I passed the order, which made me think like a batsman. I try to read situations well. Guys like Moeen Ali and Stokesy who have been hitting that middle order for so long – I love talking to them about options and when to take risks. Those are the kinds of areas I’m working on,” he said.

Curran’s multifaceted versatility has made him an attractive proposition for Twenty20 franchises, but he made it clear that events such as South Africa’s money-grubbing new competition next January are lagging far behind international cricket on his list of priorities.

“There is so much cricket. My goal is to play all three formats for England. That’s been my dream since I was a kid. There is no better feeling than winning matches for your country,” he said, adding that he hopes to also win a 25th Test cap in the near future after recovering from a stress fracture of the back.

“I loved the way the boys played against New Zealand. I loved watching that. And hopefully touch wood my body is holding up well to get through these 50 over games.

He also played an important part with the ball by sacking the dangerous David Miller

He also played an important part with the ball by sacking the dangerous David Miller

“I was guided very carefully, which I am happy about, because it was my first major injury. But the next step is four-day cricket and 20 overs a day bowling.’

Heinrich Klaasen’s finicky, delaying tactic in Friday night’s drizzle – the attempt to waste time and therefore force a nil result by limiting the second innings to under 20 overs simply led to an eight-minute delay while securing cover behind the bowler’s arm – infuriated the England team and added spice to today’s final.

“They have a bit of a problem and we have a bit of a problem too. So we’re looking forward to clashing again,” Curran said.

England are likely to keep the same line-up if they want to win a first run under the cue ball stewardship of Jos Buttler, with their alternative options in the bowling division diminished by a toe injury from Brydon Carse.

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