Reece Topley believes deciding ODI is ideal preparation for World Cups

Reece Topley believes deciding England vs India one day international is ideal preparation for World Cups as he cherishes being back in the team and looks to build on record-breaking bowling figures

  • England bowler Reece Topley is looking forward to facing India in the third ODI
  • The left-armer took England’s best ever ODI figures on Thursday with 6 for 24
  • He said that the game will be good preparation for the upcoming World Cups
  • Topley is also relieved to be back in the England team after several injury issues

Fresh from recording the England-best bowling figures that helped tee it up, Reece Topley believes tomorrow’s Royal London Series decider is the kind of contest required in the build-up to World Cups in consecutive autumns.

Topley’s six for 24 contributed to a 100-run win at Lord’s on Thursday and turned the third one-day international against India at Emirates Old Trafford into a winner-takes-all affair.

‘I’m expecting a pretty good atmosphere in Manchester. Almost like an away game really. But that’s the thing you want to practise, especially with a World Cup in October – you want those “win or you’re out of it” sort of games,’ the 28-year-old Surrey bowler said.

Reece Topley took the best ever figures for England in ODI cricket on Thursday with 6 for 24

The 6ft 8ins seamer has led England’s attack in the series against India this summer

Although England have risen on such occasions over a six-year period in which they have lost just 11 of 62 ODIs on home soil, it should not be forgotten that this is a vastly different side to the one that was crowned world champions back in 2019.

For example, Ben Stokes, who was the sixth bowler in that XI, is the only one of the bowling attack involved this week. Of the other five, Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood are injured, Adil Rashid has been on personal leave to take the holy pilgrimage to Mecca and Liam Plunkett was pensioned off long ago.

In their absence, England have turned to the 6ft 8ins Topley and his fellow left-armer David Willey as a new-ball alliance, backed up by Brydon Carse, Craig Overton and Moeen Ali, with Stokes and Liam Livingstone providing extra options.

And for Topley, who walked away from Hampshire four years ago wondering whether he would play again following a series of back injuries, success has been particularly sweet.

England beat India by 100 runs in the second ODI, largely thanks to Topley’s bowling

Topley picked up his five-fer with the wicket of Yuzvendra Chahal late on in India’s innings

‘These are the moments that make it all sort of worthwhile. I don’t know – it’s just nice to be playing for England and obviously you want to perform for your country whenever you get the opportunity. You want to take opportunities like this,’ he said.

‘I’m thrilled to be back in the team. But it’s important not to get too ahead of myself. There’s South Africa next, then the T20 World Cup. I just take that series by series.

‘I’ve got an end goal of wanting to be at the World Cup, I want to contribute and be in the team. It’s taking each day as it comes and trying to get better to attain that goal.’

It will be hard to improve statistically on what he did on Thursday evening when, in defence of 246 all out, he scythed through India’s batting to break Paul Collingwood’s 17-year-old record for England’s best figures in 50-over cricket.

The 28-year-old almost had to retire from cricket after several injury issues in his career

Topley has been in fine form for Surrey since joining the county from Sussex in 2020

But Topley says he has come to understand that the most important analysis is a performance rather than numerical-based one.

‘Stats add up and tell part of a story. Once you look over a career, they actually tell how well you’ve done. But I might bowl exactly the same and it not go my way,’ he reflected.

‘I wouldn’t say the ball’s coming out any better or worse for me. It’s the processes I’ve always believed in. You can be in form but not taking wickets.

‘I could bowl like Thursday and leave with one for 40 but wickets fell for me and you’ve got to enjoy the moment. ‘

England, looking to avoid only a second home series defeat in 13, are set to retain the same team after allowing squad members Harry Brook, Phil Salt and Matt Parkinson to play Twenty20 finals day cricket for their counties today.

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