I was a little bit surprised when Sam Curran got the call-up for England’s second Test against Pakistan at Headingley, but he deserved it.
It was an encouraging Test debut, with two wickets taken and 20 runs scored. He didn’t bowl too many overs, and James Anderson and Stuart Broad are a tough act to follow, but he’s a confident guy and he dealt with the pressure well.
When the ball is swinging around Sam is a very good bowler. To have only just turned 20 and have 106 first-class wickets to his name is a fantastic effort. He has a mature head on his shoulders for such a young kid.
Being a left-armer he is an exciting prospect for England. They’ve got a lot of guys who bowl 85mph on a good line and length, but they lack variety and someone with a bit more pace. He’s certainly got that to his advantage, along with the fact he can bat very well.
I think eventually he’ll become more of a batting all-rounder. He is more than useful with the ball, as he showed at Headingley, but I’m sure his batting will go from strength to strength. He’s the sort of player who could bat at seven for England.
It might be a little bit too early for him to be a regular in the side, but give him a couple of years and he’ll put on a yard of pace, get stronger, get more whip into his action and become a force at Test level.
Before that I think the one-day stage is somewhere where we’ll see him more, because he’s the all-round cricketer and he just keeps getting better, much like his older brother.
Tom was 19 or 20 during my last couple of years with Surrey and I was very impressed with him then. If I compare myself at that age to how he was, I probably wasn’t as confident. I’d back my abilities, but the way he led the attack, bowled a lot of overs and expressed himself was excellent.
At times he was probably over-confident, but I don’t see that as a problem. To make it to the top you’ve got to have that self-belief and kind of arrogance. Tom has that.
He’s got all the skills. He bowls a great slower ball that he learned from Jade Dernbach. He can bat as well and the start to his England white-ball career has been very strong.
Tom has been exposed to different environments, like at the Indian Premier League. He’s taken the experience of bowling long spells in the County Championship into the white-ball game and looked at home right away on the international scene.
At 23 Tom is a long way off his peak, in terms of his body and his pace. At his best he’s probably 85mph at the moment, but I think he can push speeds higher than that.
Both the Currans are incredibly confident guys. They both back themselves; they’re part of this new era of players who have grown up with Twenty20.
If they get smashed around the park they will put it to one side and come back stronger in the next game. It doesn’t faze them and that’s the attitude you’ve got to have. They embrace it and they’ve got bright futures because of it.
I think both of them still have a way to go to be the finished article in international cricket, but with their attitudes and skill-sets there’s no reason why they can’t become regular fixtures in the England side for years to come.