Reece Topley said returning England’s best one-day international bowling figures during a 100-run rout of India at Lord’s on Thursday had made years ravaged by injury “worthwhile”. The 28-year-old took an outstanding 6-24 as 50-over world champions England, defending a seemingly modest 246, bounced back from their humiliating 10-wicket defeat at the Oval on Tuesday to level this three-match series at 1-1 ahead of Sunday’s decider at Old Trafford. Topley made his international debut back in 2015 but four years of his career have been blighted by injuries, with the paceman suffering four separate stress fractures of his back.
“It means a lot, it makes it all worthwhile to be honest,” said Topley.
His father, Don, found fame when as a substitute fielder during a 1984 Test against the West Indies at Lord’s he held a brilliant catch on the boundary off a Malcolm Marshall hook only to step over the rope and concede a six instead.
Reece’s efforts mean the Topley name will now be known for rather more than that at the ‘Home of Cricket’, with the paceman determined to make the most of his international career.
“It is everyone’s dream to play for England,” he said. “I just want to pull the shirt on as many times as I can and play my part. It is a privilege every time.
“It was a terrific team performance to bounce back from defeat the other day and I’m just happy that I played my part.”
Topley’s return was built on maintaining a challenging line and length, with his return surpassing current assistant coach Paul Collingwood‘s previous England ODI best of 6-31 against Bangladesh at Trent Bridge that had stood for 17 years.
England captain Jos Buttler, well-placed to assess Topley’s bowling from his position as wicketkeeper, said: “He’s a very popular member of the team and I’m delighted for him.
“He’s had quite an interesting story. For him to come back from that and to take 6-24 at Lord’s is an incredibly special performance.
“It’s a tribute to his perseverance and his outlook on life and the game. He’s had really tough experiences, not knowing if he would play again, and that’s given him a real sense of perspective and a real enjoyment when he’s playing.
“He’s got all the attributes to be a fantastic international bowler and I’m delighted for him to get those results today.”
“We felt like we were a few short at the halfway stage, but I think the intent we played with as a team is what helped us get up to a score,” said Buttler.
India captain and opener Rohit Sharma, lbw for a duck to Topley, said: “England had the partnership in the middle with Ali and Willey but I still thought the win was achievable. We just didn’t bat well enough to get there.”
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