Reece Topley says playing for England is a ‘privilege every time’ after 6-wicket haul against India at Lord’s

Time away from cricket owing to recurrent injuries was made “worthwhile” by his incredible effort in England’s 100-run drubbing of India in the second ODI, said left-arm pacer Reece Topley.

The 28-year-old grabbed 6-24 as reigning world champions England, defending a modest 246, bounced back from their embarrassing 10-wicket defeat at the Oval to level the three-match series at 1-1 at Lord’s on Thursday.

“It means a lot, it makes it all worthwhile to be honest,” said Topley at the post-match presentation.

With his performance at Lord’s, he improved upon former England skipper Paul Collingwood’s 17-year-old record (6/31) against Bangladesh.

With the series now levelled at 1-1, both the teams will square up once again in the third and final ODI at Old Trafford on Sunday.

“That was a terrific team performance… Just happy that it came off. It (today) means a lot. It’s a big game at the weekend, try and wrap up the series. Hopefully, we do that, and whatever is next,” Topley said.

Topley has represented England in only 17 ODI games since making his debut in 2015, and a career interrupted by back injuries meant he had to miss several games for his country.

But he is determined to make the most of his comeback. “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.”

England skipper Jos Buttler, who admitted that England did not bat well once again, heaped praise on Topley’s never-say-die attitude.

“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,” Buttler said.

“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 added.

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