Sam Curran bowled with precision and played a handy cameo in a five-wicket Indian Premier League win over Mumbai Indians as the England all rounder made his Chennai Super Kings debut at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Saturday.
Curran kept Mumbai batsmen at check up front with the defending champions managing just 162-9 despite heading towards a mammoth total. Curran picked up the crucial wicket of South African opener Quinton de Kock who looked in a fine touch with a 20-ball 33.
Chennai skipper MS Dhoni decided to promote Curran up the order ahead of himself when his side was trickily placed at 134-4 with 29 runs more needed from 17 deliveries. It was a typical Dhoni situation but Curran repaid the faith smashing two sixes and a boundary to make six-ball 18.
Curran was out in the 19th over but by then Chennai were safe as the three-time champions reached 166-5 in 19.2 overs. South African skipper Faf du Plessis remained unbeaten on a 44-ball 58 having hit six boundaries in the game.
Curran revealed he was surprised to get promoted ahead of Dhoni. “To be honest, very surprised I went in but he (Dhoni) is a genius, he obviously thought something, said the 22-year old of Dhoni’s decision.
“I think so (forming a left-right combination), that was the over (from Krunal Pandya) we wanted to target – a six or out approach,” Curran added. Dhoni said someone like Curran needed to be given the chance.
“At some point of time we need to give Jadeja and somebody like Sam to express themselves. This was the ideal way – one legspinner, one left arm spinner. We felt it was ideal to intimidate the bowler, a psychological thing – to say he’s been sent to do one job,” Dhoni said.