England all-rounder Sam Curran is hungry to be part of the Test team’s new era under Ben Stokes and believes his style of cricket would be a perfect fit.
Curran played the last of his 24 Tests in August, missing the entire winter with a stress fracture of the back, but he has made a steady return to fitness with Surrey and will make his international comeback later this month in the ODI series against Holland.
Schedule demands mean it is getting harder than ever for players to balance red and white-ball ambitions but, after seeing England claim an entertaining victory over New Zealand in last week’s first Test at Lord’s, Curran is clear that he wants to be involved again in the longer format.
As a left-arm swing bowler whose penchant for breezy hitting could bolster a thin lower order, he is sure to be on the radar.
“It was massively exciting to watch them, a fantastic win and a game that had everything,” he told the PA news agency.
“Stokesy and the new head coach Brendon McCullum are two positive guys and that’s how most people like to see their cricket played.
“There will be no backward steps under Ben and that’s the way I like to play too. Hopefully it’s the start of a successful Test summer for the guys and, hopefully, I’ll be back around the group.
“Stokesy is someone I’ve always looked up to in my own game, watching the way he trains and goes about things. He’s an impact player so I’m sure his captaincy will be very positive.
“I’ve never worked with Brendon but I’ve met him a couple of times, he seems a really good guy and I’m really looking forward to it. My main focus is to get back to the Test match set-up, but I’m taking it a week at a time and making sure I don’t look too far ahead.”
Curran’s next big challenge comes in the three-match series against the Dutch, where he will begin work with McCullum’s limited-overs counterpart Matthew Mott.
The 24-year-old hopes to play an increased part with the ball and lift his workloads from a maximum of four overs in the Vitality Blast to a full complement of 10.
There will be no backward steps under Ben and that's the way I like to play too.Sam Curran
“It’s been a very slow, cautious process coming back, which is natural after my first big injury, and the ECB is making sure I don’t do too much or too little,” he said.
“It’s about getting the bone in my back used to high level cricket again. I’m going there to play a full part with the ball and I’m really excited for the trip. It’s great to get back in England colours because it feels like it’s been a while.
“I had a call with Matthew the other day and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in with him.”