Reece Topley took six wickets for England (Image: Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)
Reece Topley took six wickets for England (Image: Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Reece Topley expects to feel as if he is playing away from home when England faces India in Sunday’s one-day international series decider (3rd ODI) at Old Trafford. The northwest of England is home to one of Britain’s largest Asian populations and India can usually rely on plenty of vocal support when they play in Manchester.

Many thousands of fans in the region were denied the opportunity to support their favourites when what should have been the concluding Test between England and India at Old Trafford in September last year was called off just hours before it was due to start because of Covid-19 concerns in the tourists’ camp.

Reece Topley
Reece Topley (Image Credits: Twitter)

Reece Topley Expecting A Pretty Good Atmosphere In Manchester Almost Like An Away Game

But supporters will have a chance to make up for some of that lost time on Sunday, with a grandstand finish in prospect. The three-match series is level at 1-1 after India hammered England by 10 wickets at the Oval only for the 50-over world champions to hit back with a 100-run success at Lord’s.

“I’m expecting a pretty good atmosphere in Manchester, almost like an away game really, but that’s the kind of thing you want to practice,” he said.

“It is a big game, I’ve just got to prepare for that and hopefully wrap up the series. Especially with a (T20) World Cup in October, you want those ‘win or you’re out of it’ sort of games.”

Reece Topley claimed career-best figures (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)
Reece Topley claimed career-best figures (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)

Reece Topley could hardly be in better form, given the left-arm quick took an England ODI record 6-24 at Lord’s. But having suffered several stress fractures that almost cut short his time in cricket, the 28-year-old tried to keep his outstanding feat in perspective.

“It was pretty crazy, not something that you necessarily set out for at the start of your career, but it’s about backing it up and going again,” he said.

“It’s about enjoying the moment but not getting too high and trying to win the series for us. At the end of the day, we’re in a series and it’s 1-1. I enjoy it, I ride the wave, but there’s everything to play for at the weekend.

“There are so many variables that it’s not about saying, ‘I’m going to get five today’. At the top of my mark for each ball, it’s about how I’m getting in the game. But then you need a lot of things at the other end to go your way.”

Like England saw their batting implode in the first ODI, India too suffered a horrible top-order collapse which saw them crash to 31 for four in the 12th over. Chasing 247, the visitors folded for 146 in 38. 5 overs.

Making things difficult for India with his high point of release due to his tall frame, Reece Topley sent back both India’s openers, skipper Rohit Sharma (0 off 10 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (9 off 26 balls), before getting the in-form Suryakumar Yadav (27 off 29 balls), Mohammed Shami (23), Yuzvendra Chahal (3) and Prasidh Krishna (0).

Reece Topley Wants To Play And Contribute To England’s Cause In The Upcoming 2022 T20I World Cup

After Sunday’s match, England faces South Africa in six more white-ball games, across both T20 and ODI cricket, before the end of a hectic month.

“The schedule is another thing… I mean, it’s crazy,” Topley said.

You’ve got to do what you can. I think we’ll have had 12 games in 20-something days — that’s a lot for anyone to play. I’ve got an end goal that I want to be at the (T20) World Cup (in October), I want to contribute and be in the team. It’s about taking each day as it comes and trying to get better to attain that goal.”

Jasprit Bumrah| AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi
Jasprit Bumrah| AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

If ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah took 6/19 to shape India’s 10-wicket thumping win over England at the Oval in the first ODI, it was the turn of seamer Reece Topley to return the compliment in the second ODI at Lord’s, as he took 6/24 in 9.5 overs to fire the hosts to a dominating 100-run victory in the second ODI at Lord’s.

The 6 ft 7-inch tall fast-bowler dismissed six Indian batters for 24 runs in 9.5 overs to record the best bowling figures by any English bowler in the game’s 50-over format. He broke former England skipper and star all-rounder Paul Collingwood’s 17-year-old record.

The 46-year-old Paul Collingwood, who is now England’s assistant coach, dismissed six Bangladeshi batters for 31 runs in 10 overs at Trent Bridge on June 21, 2005.