Curran: ‘Cricket is turning into baseball, isn’t it?’

Curran: 'Cricket is turning into baseball, isn't it?'

After the Punjab Kings smashed the record books by smashing 262 with eight balls to spare, their captain Sam Curran was left wondering if cricket was becoming a completely different sport.

“Cricket is becoming baseball, isn’t it? It was absolutely incredible,” Curran reflected in the post-match presentation. “Where we are? [start]? Absolutely delighted with two points. Games like this are out of this world, but the most important thing is that we have had some difficult weeks as a team. [this was Kings’ first win in five games] but we have really endured. “We’ve pushed the teams to the limit and, I guess, let’s forget about the scores… I thought we really deserved the win.”

The way batsmen have raised their hitting ceiling, a total of 300 has seemed an increasingly realistic prospect at different times this season. Seven of the top eight IPL totals have come this season, with PBKS ranking sixth with their record-breaking chase at Eden Gardens. Friday’s match also produced the most sixes (42) in a T20 match. He surpassed the 38 hits of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians in Hyderabad last month, and Royal Challengers Bengaluru and SRH in Bengaluru last week. Curran tried to make sense of the killing.

“Yes, I think about a lot of different things. [have added up to this]” Curran said. “I think the way the guys train is obviously huge and they can hit balls for a long period of time. I guess it’s the confidence, the coaches and the way we’ve been training. Let’s be honest: small grounds with a little dew and ball. [gets wet] and sometimes you get a broad call. You think you have a dot ball, you check it and then it’s wide. Then an extra ball. So yeah, I’m not saying it’s a batsmen’s game, but it shows… I’m sure everyone wants to keep seeing sixes. I think the statistics are definitely getting lost. “It’s about winning those little moments.”

Curran was also pleased with the destroyer-in-chief’s form on the night as Jonny Bairstow bounced back after a series of low scores, which led to his removal from the team.
Bairstow has also had a tough winter with England in India. He is the only England player to have been involved in the 50-over World Cup, the five-Test series earlier this year and the IPL, and has struggled to make an impact during his long spell in India. On Friday, however, Bairstow returned in place of Liam Livingstone and launched a massive chase. He remained unbeaten on 108 off 48 balls with eight fours and nine sixes.

“I’m really happy for Jonny. He’s obviously been on tour for a long time,” Curran said. “A couple of games out of the team, it seemed like he came back really eager to score runs for the team and showed how amazing he is. So I’m really happy for him.”

Curran was also impressed with Shashank Singh, who scored an unbeaten 28-ball 68, in an unbroken 84-run stand for the third wicket off 37 balls.
“We gave him a little more responsibility to come in at No. 4 and he’s been the find of the season for us,” Curran said of Shashank. “He and Ashutosh [Sharma] It has been absolutely incredible and I am very happy. Our group has been through a lot in recent weeks and, like I said, get two points and you’ll enjoy those small victories. And it’s no small victory. It’s a big victory to come to Kolkata and beat that team. Proud of the team, proud of the coaches and proud of everyone.”

What was Bairstow’s game plan when he faced a chase of 262 on his comeback? “Try to hit it as far as possible,” Bairstow said with a smile. “I’ve never been in a game where 260 has been scored. Look, if it’s in your crease, you have to go. If you really have a couple of quiet overs, which we actually did against Sunil [Narine, who finished with figures of 4-0-24-1]… [That was] because we know how important he is to his side and losing less wickets against someone like that is imperative for a chase like that.”

Kolkata Knight Riders captain Shreyas Iyer wanted his players to respond strongly when they faced Delhi Capitals next to end a run of five straight home games.

“To be honest, both teams played tremendously and I personally feel like this is one of those games where you have to go back to the drawing board and make sure you introspect on the areas where you went wrong,” Shreyas said. “Especially batting first and getting 260 on the board and then not being able to defend hurts, but at the same time, it is a great lesson for all the players, especially the bowlers. We have one more game here and it is important that we evaluate the conditions and propose better ideas.