BUMBLE AT THE TEST: Sam Curran is not a cricketer to be underestimated

BUMBLE AT THE TEST: Sam Curran is not a cricketer to be underestimated, when he plays England win… while there is a danger of all of us in the game over-emphasising data

  • At only 22, Sam Curran has the time as well as the talent to go up the order
  • Spinner Adil Rashid should be added to the strong nucleus of England team
  • England were frustrated as tourists reached 223-9 on day two of second Test

England’s hopes of rolling Pakistan cheaply ran aground on day two of the second Test as gloomy weather and enterprising batting from Mohammad Rizwan stalled their momentum.

Just over 40 overs were possible on Friday, with the tourists’ first innings on 223 for nine at the end of a painfully frustrating day,

Here, Sportsmail’s David Lloyd gives us his take on the proceedings on day two.

A gritty Pakistan batting display and bad weather frustrated England on the second day

Sam Curran is not a cricketer to be underestimated. 

When he plays, particularly at home, England win and that’s a nice habit. His stats are relatively modest but he influences games. 

Sam Curran is a major influence with the ball and he has the talent to move up the order

At only 22, Curran has the time as well as the talent to go up the order if he works really hard on his batting. 

The No 6 spot should be his goal.

Time to make a rash move

England have the makings of a very good Test team.

The nucleus is Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Zak Crawley and Dan Lawrence. 

England have the makings of a very good Test team and Adil Rashid would be a good addition

There will be a number of fast bowlers who join that group, but there’s one spinner I’d like to see — Adil Rashid.  He should be playing red-ball cricket.

Kids’ vids are such a winner  

I am delighted Sky are encouraging young folk to send in videos of themselves playing cricket this summer. 

It’s an absolute winner and it’s great to see kids giving it a go. Some are really good and others are just enjoying playing the game. Both are terrific. 

Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton are really enthusiastic about it and it’s so encouraging for the future…

 Natural flair is way to go

…And for all you coaches out there, don’t push those youngsters starting off in the game to be the norm. 

They need to develop natural flair. More than anything, be a mentor. It’s intriguing to watch England openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley.  They are quirky. 

England openers Rory Burns (above) and Dom Sibley have their own quirky style of batting

So my question is — did they bat like that in their formative years or have they been developed by coaches? I just can’t see how their methods came naturally.

Video killed the India star

Which reminds me of when I was England coach in 1996. I went to spy on the Indian tourists at Worcester and their opening batsman Vikram Rathour scored 165. 

After filming him with my Sharp Viewcam, I went back to Darren Gough and said: ‘If you don’t get him out in your first 10 balls, you’re not playing in the next match because he’s a walking wicket.’ 

In the end Dominic Cork got him twice cheaply at Edgbaston and he only played six Tests.

Stats not the whole story  

A word of caution after watching and listening from afar over the last two days. There is a danger of all of us in the game over-emphasising data. 

‘The ball is swinging 0.3 per cent more.’ 

And, ‘When Arthur plays against spin on day three, he averages 32.6 as opposed to 42.8 on day two.’ 

Let’s not overcomplicate things for youngsters and casual viewers. We should remember to keep it simple.

El Bumble’s going on the run!

I had another of those cold calls to interrupt my viewing on Friday. 

This time it was a recorded message. ‘You have been found guilty of fraud and unless you press one immediately a writ will be issued and you will be arrested.’ 

So, dear reader, I’m going to have to hot-foot it to the Costa del Sol and assume a new identity. Call me El Bumble from now on. 

For now, Ole. Dos cervezas par favor, senor! 

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