Sam Curran's "attitude" in pressure moments, his all-round skills, and performance in Chennai Super Kings' win in the IPL 2020 opener against the Mumbai Indians on Saturday has meant the team doesn't have to worry about the absence of the injured Dwayne Bravo, coach Stephen Fleming feels. Bravo's recovery - from a knee injury - is being monitored even as the Super Kings prepare for two matches in the coming week.
"Bravo is progressing; we are working closely to get him up to 100 per cent," Fleming told the team's website. "We've got three quick games in a row [including the opening fixture], so we'll look at each game and monitor him each time we train.
"With Sam's performance, it takes a bit of pressure off rushing Bravo back, but he's one of the world's best and to have him in the selection equation is very important to us."
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Curran might not have featured in the playing XI had Bravo been fit - though an additional left-hand batsman is useful in Suresh Raina's absence - but grabbed his chance when he got it in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. He first returned 1 for 28 from his four overs, Quinton de Kock his victim, and then scored a vital six-ball 18 in the late stages of the Super Kings' successful chase.
"Losing Dwayne was a big loss and Sam went a long way in filling that," Fleming said. "The things that impressed us with Sam is his attitude first and foremost, almost the harder it gets the better he gets, his all-round skill component and the fact that the captain was able to trust him straightaway to go in at a crucial time and hit the way he did.
"Also with the ball, to be a part of it straightaway, almost stepping straight off the plane was a sign of his attitude and what he is going to bring to CSK for the next few years."
Bravo, a long-time member of the Super Kings, became the first to pick up 500 T20 wickets during the CPL recently, but didn't bowl in the final, which his team the Trinbago Knight Riders won by beating the St Lucia Zouks by eight wickets. Overall, he was in decent form with the ball, picking up nine wickets in ten games at an economy rate of 7.50.