Tom Curran will not be fazed by his maiden senior England call-up, while the West Indies series is massive for certain players

Chris Tremlett
Follow Chris
Surrey v Hampshire - NatWest T20 Blast
As soon as he entered the Surrey dressing room, there was a sense that Tom felt like he belonged (Source: Getty)

My former Surrey team-mate Tom Curran is just the sort of cricketer England look for: young, good skills in one-day cricket, an all-rounder and, with his yorkers and back-of-the-hand deliveries, a talented death bowler.

The 21-year-old marched into the Surrey side pretty much from school but showed no fear. Tom is a confident young lad who believes in himself and felt he belonged there. He won’t be fazed by walking into the England dressing room.

I don’t think it will be long before his brother Sam, 18, is handed a maiden senior international call-up either. They are both incredibly talented and have cricket running deep in their veins – their late father Kevin played for Zimbabwe.

Read more: Tom and Sam Curran: Surrey brothers with world at their feet

Whether Tom plays or not against the West Indies during the three-match one-day series, which starts on Friday, depends on the pitches in Antigua and Barbados and how England choose to balance their starting XI.

Some West Indian pitches can be quite slow, which could actually suit Tom and play into his hands. He’s not as quick as some of the other bowlers but has a good array of slower balls and that could prove vital.

England, however, may opt for someone like Liam Dawson as an extra spinning all-rounder, so it might just be a case of getting Tom into the set-up and used to being around the other players in that sort of environment.

As for the series itself, I expect England to win. West Indies are a bit disjointed in terms of some of their players featuring in other tournaments, and others not representing their country at all any more.

But when the West Indies turn up and fire, they are a team to be reckoned with. That said, England are more than capable of a 3-0 whitewash.

Looking through the prism of selection for the Champions Trophy in June, this is a big series for Kent’s Sam Billings. With him playing in the Indian Premier League, he has got opportunities over the next few months to show exactly what he can do.

He’s been in and out of England’s limited-overs sides and has only played two 50-over international matches since June 2015. He’s a class player and has a real chance with Alex Hales doubtful to play due to a hand injury.

I imagine Billings will play tomorrow and probably at the top of the order. If the 25-year-old has a solid series he could cement his place in the team and make it difficult for Hales to regain his place.

It’s also important for Yorkshire quick Liam Plunkett. I always feel there is a bit of pressure on Plunkett as he too has been in and out of squads and is a bit older than some of the other bowlers on England’s radar.

Someone like Chris Woakes is penned in for the Champions Trophy, as is Ben Stokes as the all-rounder, so there aren’t too many seam places up for grabs. It’s a big few games for Plunkett.

The same applies to Steven Finn. When he’s hitting his straps, has rhythm and is bowling fast then he would be pushing to be in that one-day side on a regular basis. But, at the moment, he is just way too inconsistent.

It was a slightly strange pick, in any case, because he doesn’t quite have the skills of some of the other bowlers. Somebody like Chris Jordan, who is a good death bowler and a better batsman than Finn, would have been my preference.

Related articles