Sam Curran interview: Two-bouncers rule should stay | Crickit
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Sam Curran interview: Two-bouncers rule should stay

May 15, 2024 07:33 PM IST

The PBKS allrounder feels that it is a nice weapon to have as a bowler

Following Shikhar Dhawan’s injury, England all-rounder Sam Curran has led Punjab Kings for most of IPL 2024. Curran has been one of the few all-rounders to have maximised his dual role with bat and ball despite the Impact player rule. He talks about the evolution of T20 tactics and the upcoming World Cup.

Punjab Kings captain Sam Curran celebrates the wicket of Royal Challengers Bengaluru's Rajat Patidar (PTI)
Punjab Kings captain Sam Curran celebrates the wicket of Royal Challengers Bengaluru's Rajat Patidar (PTI)

Excerpts from the interview:

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It’s been a frustrating season for Punjab Kings. But, personally what’s your experience of leading in IPL been like?

It’s been an up-and-down season for the franchise. We have struggled to put a perfect game together. I have really enjoyed the leadership role at Punjab. I will take a lot of confidence from it. Leading in IPL is a great challenge. With seven Indian players, there’s feedback to take on what works against certain style of players. The overseas players bring a wealth of international experience. It's great to bounce ideas off various coaches and players.

You recently said cricket is turning into baseball. Has the increased intent come purely because of the Impact player rule?

The scores have been really big. As a bowler, it’s been a great challenge. The Impact player rule has made a big difference. If you don’t lose wickets in the first six, you can keep going through the middle phase. It also helps that the batters have developed a lot of power-hitting and range hitting. The grounds and pitches have been good. So, it's great to watch. But the balance of bat and ball in future, hopefully gets a bit more even.

Do players train differently now, to try and prepare exactly for what to expect?

All players train differently. It’s an individual thing. You train for where you want to bat, where you want to bowl. Some guys like to start against pace, some against spin. Vice versa, as bowlers you practice your skills in the nets. There is no right or wrong. The day before the game, you would like to prepare mentally and physically in your own way on how to beat the opposition.

What have you made of the two-bouncer rule?

To be fair, it’s a good rule. It has made a change in phases but not a huge difference. It’s a rule that should stay. The bowler gets more armoury. The way the game is developing, it’s a nice weapon to have as a bowler.

Do bowlers structure their overs differently?

It depends on their personal preference. On some wickets it works, on some, it doesn’t. You plan your over, at the same time it’s about executing your best ball. Sometimes you use the bouncer for the second time, sometimes you don’t use it at all. It's about adjusting to the surface.

You are much more economical in T20Is than in IPL. How different are the two?

I think it’s pretty similar. There are fewer international players in IPL and there is no Impact rule in T20Is. But other than that, the standard is very good. That's why IPL is the leading T20 tournament. It's a great challenge. You keep learning and improving.

The new ball hasn’t swung as much, this IPL. Has that made it tougher?

As a bowler, you would love for the ball to swing. But once it goes for a six or hits one of the stands, it takes the shine off the ball. There has still been some amazing swing bowling in this IPL. It’s a skill you must keep developing and improving. My message is to keep practicing it in the nets and hopefully there will be days when it would swing more consistently.

Your next challenge will be the T20 World Cup on different pitches and back to T20I playing regulations. Will it take adjusting?

Not really. We play so much cricket. Playing for your country is always special. The T20 World Cup will be exciting for us. England have had some good success recently. I am really excited about what’s ahead and hopefully we can achieve something special again. But everyone starts on the same points. And we have got to adjust to the conditions as soon as possible. We are really confident. The series against Pakistan will be good preparation. And hopefully by the time we go to the Carribean, we will be raring to go.

You’ve seen Arshdeep closely. Should his form be a cause for concern for India?

No, Arshdeep is a quality bowler. There is a reason why he is in the Indian squad. I am really confident that he will have a great World Cup for his country. He works really hard and is a great guy to have in your team. He's a quality performer. You can't judge people on a few games.

What have been the takeaways for Punjab Kings?

We have played some good cricket and lost a few close games. Ashutosh has had a great season and won us some games as well. Shashank is a lovely guy who hasn’t had much opportunity in the past. I am really pleased for him. I like his calmness and his fearlessness has been beautiful to watch. He has got a big future ahead. Everyone at the end will be disappointed not to qualify, but the sun will still come out and the franchise will keep pushing and hopefully win some games next year. With the mega auction, who knows what will happen. But I have thoroughly enjoyed leading the team this year.

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