England in India: Sam Curran will get better and better - Jos Buttler

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport
Sam Curran
Sam Curran was playing in only his eighth one-day international

All-rounder Sam Curran will get "better and better", according to stand-in England captain Jos Buttler.

Curran's unbeaten 95 almost snatched victory for England in the deciding one-day international against India, the tourists losing by seven runs.

Despite making his England debut three years ago, Curran is still only 22 and was playing just his eighth ODI.

"The scope of where he can take his game to is massive. We're all very excited for him," said Buttler.

"He's a very young man still. Any time he and his brother Tom are put in those situations they seem to have the character for the crunch moments.

"Sam keeps showing what a match-winner he is. He's a real impact player and he will continue to get better and better."

Chasing 330, England were 200-7 in the 31st over in Pune, only for Surrey's Curran to add 57 with Adil Rashid and 60 with Mark Wood.

Needing 14 from the final over, they could only take six, with Curran equalling the best score by a batsman coming in at number eight or lower in an ODI.

"There was always some genuine belief," added Buttler, who was in charge in place of the injured Eoin Morgan. "It was great for Sam to take us all the way down to the wire.

"That was an outstanding effort and we're all very proud of him for that."

Curran will now head to the Indian Premier League and join up with Chennai Super Kings, for whom he has previously opened the batting and bowling.

Chennai are captained by India legend MS Dhoni, himself a master run-chaser.

"I'm sure Sam will want to talk to MS about tonight's innings," said Buttler, who will play for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.

"What a great person for Sam to go and have a great conversation with about this game. We all know what an amazing finisher MS Dhoni is.

"There were shades of the way he would have tried to take that game down if he was in that situation."

The defeat not only denied England a first ODI series win in India in 36 years, but also means they end the tour without a victory in any of the three formats, having lost the Tests 3-1 and Twenty20s 3-2.

"We came here wanting to win and we haven't managed to do that," said Buttler. "Of course we're disappointed with that, but there will be some great learnings taken from the tour.

"We have expanded the talent available to us in white-ball cricket, building towards the T20 World Cup later this year and the 2023 50-over World Cup further down the line."

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