T20 WC: Ready to face upbeat hosts WI, says Topley

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 19, 2024 IST

Reece Topley

Gros Islet (St Lucia), June 19: As reigning champions England get ready to face hosts West Indies in their first Super Eight match of the ICC T20 World Cup   2024 on Thursday, the English men may have to overcome the excited and energetic home crowd challenge as well.

England’s left-arm fast-bowler Reece Topley said the side is bracing itself to deal with a 'cauldron' of an atmosphere during their highly-anticipated T20 World Cup Super Eight clash against co-hosts West Indies at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium.

England managed to make it to the Super Eight stage of the after some stressful times – winning a truncated Group B game against Namibia after rains delayed start of the match. They were handed a lifeline to enter Super Eights as Australia defeated Scotland in a last-over thriller.

They are now up against the West Indies in their first Super Eight game, a team which has been sailing smoothly in the competition after early jitters. England had lost 3-2 to West Indies in a T20I series in these conditions last year.

"We have not played in front of an opposition crowd for a long time now. I think maybe the West Indies would be hopefully trying to get their own back for our fans that were so incredible in November. They'll try and rally around them and create this cauldron of an atmosphere tomorrow night. It's going to be incredible," said Topley to reporters.

The England-West Indies Super Eight match will be played on the same pitch where the Rovman Powell-led side made 218/5 against Afghanistan earlier this week, which is also the highest score in a T20 World Cup.

It also helps West Indies that they are playing in the stadium named after current white-ball coach Daren Sammy and has a stand named after batter Johnson Charles, who is in the West Indies setup for the World Cup.

"It's nice that there's obviously new conditions to try and adapt to. But I think it's going to make for a pretty good cricket wicket regardless. I think the wickets have been kind to bowlers so far so it might be time to take a bit of medicine. In the business of problem-solving now, things are a bit more complicated for us as a bowler. But the mission statement is pretty much the same," added Topley.

He also feels England touring West Indies frequently in the last few years also works in their advantage. "It's an advantage that we've toured here quite a lot in the recent years, so it's nothing new to us. Everyone knows what to expect once we're out here, knows what you can do to keep your head down and stay fresh for the games. Representing England at a World Cup, no matter where it is, is always a highlight of your career."

Under Rovman Powell's leadership, the Caribbeans are on a high and are unbeatable in the tournament so far. With home crowd supporting them, West Indies in all probability will pose a real challenge for Jos Buttler led English team. (With IANS support)

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