In their first one-day international since winning last year’s World Cup, an England team showing a raft of changes from the one that defeated New Zealand in the Lord’s final were outclassed at Cape Town.
England are likely to keep any changes for the penultimate match of the series to a minimum and Curran is confident they can bounce back at Kingsmead – although Friday’s weather forecast makes for grim reading and may have the final say.
Curran said: “We’ve lost games of cricket before and come back to win the series. I don’t think it’s a massive confidence knock, the boys are going to be training hard ready to try and level the series. I don’t think it will have affected anyone too much.
“You don’t want to lose a series at any time, but yeah taking one game at a time we don’t want to lose a series definitely, so we have to win and we will be looking to do that.”
England have not lost a bilateral ODI series in three years – when India prevailed 2-1 at the start of 2017 – but this is a squad without the rested Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Mark Wood, and the injured Jofra Archer.
Curran, an unused squad member during England’s triumphant World Cup campaign, is among those to have benefited from the decision to select a largely second-string side.
But the seam bowling all-rounder insists he does not need an extra incentive to succeed.
He said: “I don’t necessarily think more motivation, you’re always motivated. When there are guys missing, there are going to be opportunities and no doubt we’ll be looking to take those.
“I didn’t play (at the World Cup) but it hasn’t changed my mentality going into these games, it was a great experience to be a part of that and if anything, not playing is a little nudge and a little motivator to be out there at the next one.”
While Quinton De Kock’s century and an innings of 98 from Temba Bavuma condemned England to such a heavy defeat, left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi was the pick of the bowlers on either side with three for 38.
He was wary of writing off England, saying: “They won the World Cup so I don’t think they’re that bad! They’re the world champions, they’ve got unbelievable players in their squad.
“A lot of the chat is about them resting players, we’ve also rested players and it doesn’t really matter, ultimately it’s South Africa against England and they are the world champions.
“If you look at their batting line-up, it’s class – there are guys up to number 10 and 11 who can bat.”
England assistant Paul Collingwood missed training because of illness, and his usual duties, among them giving throw downs to batsmen in the nets, were taken up with gusto by Stokes.
The all-rounder is not an official squad member but has stayed on to train ahead of returning for the three Twenty20s that follow the ODI series later this month.