Australia v England T20 Betting: Emerging star Curran can make the difference

Alex Hales is expected to be fit to lead England's batting attack
Alex Hales is expected to be fit to lead England's batting attack
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England axed Tom Curran from their Test team but Ralph Ellis is backing the Surrey star to keep showing he can be a major player in all formats...

"After the success of the ODI campaign there are good reasons to back Eoin Morgan’s team at [2.32] to follow that up in the shorter form of the game, and Curran – whose younger brother Sam has also been added to the squad – is one of them."

Sometimes it can be hard to follow the logic of England's cricket selectors, especially when it comes to the Test team.

Last summer, for instance, the build-up to the Ashes was full of blind faith in batsmen who never looked likely to be able to cope with a series Down Under.

Now, after all that went wrong during that disastrous campaign, they seem to have messed up again by leaving Tom Curran out of the squad that will play a Test series in New Zealand at the end of March.

He was widely praised for his efforts despite not getting super figures, and he did get Steve Smith as his first wicket. But surely after that introduction the ideal next move was to play him in a relatively easier series and help him build a bit of confidence.

Just to make the decision to leave him out look even more questionable, the 22-year-old Surrey fast bowler then stepped up with a match winning five for 35 in the final ODI against the Aussies in Perth.

That was proof if any were needed that Curran, son of Zimbabwe all-rounder Kevin, has got what it takes to be a star at international level at every form of the game and is the sort of talent who needs to be fostered rather than thrown away at the first hiccup.

He will certainly be a key figure as England begin their Trans-Tasman Twenty20 series campaign against Australia in Hobart tomorrow morning (starts 8.40 our time).

The Aussies have begun their campaign with a thumping win over New Zealand and so are [1.75] favourites in the Match Odds.

But after the success of the ODI campaign there are good reasons to back Eoin Morgan's team at [2.32] to follow that up in the shorter form of the game, and Curran - whose younger brother Sam has also been added to the squad - is one of them.

So far he's taken six wickets in his three England T20 appearances, and has that ability to stay aggressive and attack batsmen who are trying to thrash him to all parts of the ground. At his age he reminds me of a young Stuart Broad, who I first saw in the T20 finals day and made you sit up and notice with his pace and bounce.

Curran, at exactly six feet, is of course not as tall as Broad but has the same natural athleticism and smooth action that can make things happen out of nowhere.

If as expected Jason Roy and Alex Hales are both fit England will have a powerful line-up and for all the Aussies success in the opening match of the series their white ball cricket has been fairly chaotic in the last year. Their star batsman David Warner looks tired, and it was significant he got out cheaply at the start of a simple run chase.

England's T20 performances have been inconsistent of late. In nine matches since that World Cup final disappointment against the West Indies they have won four and lost five.

But when they are good, they are very good, and the momentum and morale from the ODI series victory must be a factor in this contest. That's especially true for Curran, who might yet make the Test selectors look even more silly than they have already managed.


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