Tom Curran 'always up for the fight', says Mark Butcher after England's opening T20I win
Tom Curran takes 4-36 as England beat Windies by four wickets
Last Updated: 06/03/19 7:37am
Mark Butcher spoke highly of Tom Curran's fighting character, after he took four wickets in England's opening T20 international win over the Windies in St Lucia on Tuesday.
Curran took 4-36 from his four overs, claiming a couple of wickets at the start of the Windies innings before returning to pick up two more at the death as the hosts were restricted to 160-8.
Butcher believes Curran's eagerness to bowl at the death means he has a very bright future in this England team, even if that might not translate to a place in the World Cup team, with competition for places high ahead of the summer.
"Curran is somebody who is perhaps - going back to one-day international cricket - is not in England's best XI," said Butcher. "He wouldn't get in the team if everyone is fit but, whenever he has got the chance to play, in T20s or 50-over cricket, he very often pulls off performances that are effective and eye-catching.
"The captain has an enormous amount of faith in him and he is one of these cricketers who is always up for the fight, loves bowling at the end of the innings.
"That's part of the battle of bowling at the end of the innings, you have to want to. And he is pretty good at it, for a youngster who is very inexperienced in terms of international cricket.
"He has a very big future ahead of him. If he makes the World Cup squad, who knows? He won't let anybody down if he gets a game. But, if not, there are plenty more World Cups for him to come."
Butcher also reserved praise for Jonny Bairstow - another who is often in and out of England's side, in T20I cricket - after he hit a career-best 68 off 40 balls to help the tourists chase down 161.
"Bairstow is taking an opportunity again," Butcher added. "How often do we say that about Jonny - he often finds himself in a role he's not used to, or in a team that he ordinarily doesn't get a go in, and he comes in, keeps wicket really nicely and then gets the team off to an absolute flier with the bat.
"He is a wonderful striker of the ball, a very talented boy. I suppose the only negative from his innings at all was that when the game was in sight, the win was in sight - he'd done all the hard work - he seemed to spend about three overs trying to get out."
Bairstow was dropped on two occasions, while the Windies were guilty of shelling a grand total of four catches during a sloppy display in the field.
"It lacked a little bit of sparkle, a bit of energy from the Windies, who didn't look like they were at the races at all," said Butcher.
"It was a little bit after the Lord Mayor's show. After the euphoria of levelling up the one-day international series against the No 1 ranked side in the world, having also played brilliantly in the Test matches, this seemed like a little bit of an afterthought for them."