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Last year’s T20 World Cup player of the tournament and final laid down a marker to be included in England’s squad for the defence of their 50-over title in India with a star showing against Bangladesh.
He was overlooked for the first ODI but made a cameo 33 not out off 19 balls in the second before taking the wind out of Bangladesh’s sails in their reply with three wickets within five deliveries.
Curran eventually finished with four for 29 in Dhaka and, while he insisted he does not feel under pressure to perform, the left-arm seamer thinks he needs to keep pushing on to stay in contention.
“It’s a quality squad at the moment,” he said. “There are guys on the Test tour who come back in as well. Every time you play in a team and for England, you want to put in a performance.
“We have a great squad now with Jofra (Archer), (Chris) Woakes, (Mark) Wood back. Everyone has had a tough couple of years with injury and everyone is pleased to see the quality of bowlers we have around.
“It’s a great time and hopefully we can all stay fit and give the captain and coach some good decisions to make. As bowlers we just want to perform and be in that 15 they take to the World Cup.
“It’s a great team to be around and I guess the World Cup can only give me confidence. But it’s about enjoying it and not putting too much pressure (on myself).”
Curran, whose only previous experience in Bangladesh was at the 2016 Under-19 World Cup, exploited early swing to leave the Tigers nine for three in their doomed pursuit of 327 on Friday, with England thumping their opponents by 132 runs to move into an unassailable 2-0 lead with just one match to play.
Curran continues to excel in international cricket despite neither being particularly tall nor generating express pace and attributed his success to his sharp instincts and a canny skillset.
“I don’t think too much to be honest,” Curran said. “You have your natural plans and I like to react to what’s in front of me. I’m not a massive planner, to look at what’s ahead of me.
“But it’s just reacting – if my cutters are working I’ll stick to them, but (on Friday) the new ball swung so it was just play it as you see.
“It helps when you can watch them bowl first and almost copy what they do. Watch what they did wrong, and not do what they did wrong.
“IT’S WARM!” 🥵
Dhaka ✈️ Chattogram
Here we go! 😍 pic.twitter.com/d4kJFap6ZV
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) March 4, 2023
“Each game we are trying to get better and better, the closer we get to the World Cup.”
England headed to Chattogram – formerly Chittagong, the Bangladesh Government officially changed the city’s name in 2018 – on Saturday and will be bidding to seal a 3-0 clean sweep on Monday.
It marks England’s last ODI until September, when the World Cup squad will be on the verge of being announced, but Curran still hopes to press his case in other ways such as the Indian Premier League.
Curran is the most expensive auction buy in IPL history, having been snapped up for £1.85million in December by Punjab Kings, and is due to head to India after England’s tour of Bangladesh.
“It’s another opportunity to play cricket in India which will be amazing,” he added. “It’s great preparation for the World Cup and (I can) hopefully put in some good performances for my team.”