BY MARCUS HOOK
When a team needs other results to go their way, as Surrey did in the Royal London, it invariably means the table doesn’t lie.
Such were the margins of defeat against both Somerset, in the opener, and against Kent last week, that wild fluctuations in performance more than a lack of consistency has been the Oval outfit’s biggest problem in recent weeks.
These days, my wife no longer asks how Surrey got on when I arrive home from cricket, possibly for fear of dulling my mood. I, too, rarely make mention.
But, last Friday, as I walked through the front door, even I was moved to announce (Golden Gordon-like, but without taking out my frustrations on the first item of furniture that came to hand) that Surrey had lost to Kent.
When I told Heather the margin, her response was: “220 runs – that’s a lot, isn’t it?” Later that evening, while on the phone, she told a friend: “Surrey didn’t do very well – they lost by 220 wickets,” which made me chuckle. “I know they were bad,” I said. “But they weren’t that bad!”
However, Surrey being Surrey, they then went and dismantled Middlesex at Lord’s, courtesy of a superb all-round display with the ball followed by another batting masterclass from Ben Foakes.
I was reliably informed both at Beckenham and at Lord’s that the reason for the bigger than expected crowds was due to the Virat Kohli effect. Apparently, the pre-sale of tickets ceased within an hour of the India captain’s deal to play for Surrey falling through. By that time, however, Kent had pre-sold 1,500 and Middlesex 2,000.
Sam Curran’s first bow in international cricket may have come earlier than anticipated, but it underlines that there are a number of exciting youngsters coming up through the county system. Indeed, with Sam being England’s third player aged under 21 to make his Test debut this year – Mason Crane and Dom Bess being the others – it’s the first time three have made their Test debuts in a calendar year.
The former England captain, Michael Vaughan said he was impressed with Curran’s batting, but feels his bowling needs some work. He said: “Is he capable of bowling a quick bouncer?”
I don’t know, the kid plays one Test – and already people are getting on his back. Vaughan added: “Can England make Sam Curran into a Chaminda Vaas style of bowler?”
Don’t you worry Vaughny – if he needs to, Sam Curran will turn Sam Curran into a Chaminda Vaas style of bowler.
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