Sam Curran concedes 30 from one over in England's latest defeat by West Indies


Twenty-one months ago, England’s 10-wicket defeat in the spice island, which took the Test side’s run to one victory in 17 games, deepened the team’s malaise. It also proved the catalyst for the remarkable changes that have followed.

The mood around the white-ball set-up is far from as grim as for the Test side in March last year - and, given the array of new faces, it could be said that this rebuild has already begun. But as England once again failed to match West Indies’ power in Grenada, falling to a ten-run defeat, it meant that Jos Buttler’s side have now claimed just four victories in 14 games across both limited-overs formats since the start of October. Unless this run improves on Saturday, England face a fourth consecutive series loss to West Indies – this would be the second in T20, to go with one apiece in Tests and one-day internationals – in the Caribbean since the start of 2022.

England defeats in the Caribbean have traditionally been authored by pace. Here, their failure to chase 177 was rooted in West Indies’ left-arm spin pair, Akeal Hosein and the returning Gudakesh Motie, who shared three for 33 from their eight overs. Bowling with loop and varying his pace appreciably, sometimes by as much as seven miles per hour from ball-to-ball, Motie yielded just nine from his spell.

The spin pair contributed to England promoting left-hander Sam Curran to number four, the highest that he has ever batted for his country. For all his recent travails with the ball – which extended as he was thrashed for 38 in two overs here – Curran remains a dynamic cricketer.

His elevation, which broke up England’s array of right-handers, replicated the role that he has performed in the Indian Premier League to good effect. A 32-ball half-century, including three thundering blows in Curran’s favoured arc between midwicket and long off, all off pace, suggested that it was a worthy experiment. In England’s training sessions this tour, Curran has been among the side’s three biggest hitters.

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