The left-arm quick said the Surrey dressing room is full of confidence after a strong start to the LV= County Championship season which has put them top of the table.
Reece Topley has had to bide his time for red-ball opportunities. Heading into this season a succession of injuries had restricted the 28-year-old to 14 appearances in the longer format since the start of 2015, but having reacquainted himself with the red Dukes, he’s now firing on all cylinders.
After missing the innings victory over Hampshire due to a minor neck injury, Topley took six wickets in the rousing three-wicket win over Somerset at The Kia Oval, giving him nine for the season at a healthy average of 23.77. Alongside fellow seamers Jordan Clark (15 wickets at 20.40) and Jamie Overton (11 wickets at 20.81), he has been a key factor in Surrey’s strong start to the campaign.
“I haven’t played first-class cricket for quite a long time,” says Topley, “and I took a few weeks to get back into the swing of bowling with the Dukes ball. But now I feel like my feet are under the desk in Championship cricket and I’m happy to be playing and taking wickets for Surrey.
“We’ve got a way of playing and everyone seems to be buying into it. It’s not like we say we’re going to play on green seamers and it’s going to be a shootout where 200 plays 170. We play proper cricket and I think everyone has got a really good skillset. When you’ve got that feeling and belief, then you have belief in your own game as well. It’s a very healthy environment and a nice dressing room to be in.”
Surrey were dealt a blow when Kemar Roach’s spell at the club was cut short due to injury, but the rest of the attack have stepped up in the West Indies international’s absence. Topley and Clark formed an exciting new-ball pairing in the second innings against Somerset, sharing seven wickets between them – and 13 in the match overall – as the hosts overcame a first-innings deficit to take the spoils.
“We were behind on first innings and we lost the toss, so it was always going to be a hard win, but we went about it in the right way,” says Topley. “We were very disciplined and we never let them get too far away.
“People talk about the new ball a lot but what’s good with me and Jordan is I feel like we can take wickets at any point in the innings. We’ve got the ability to take wickets when the ball is new and then also if the ball is 50 overs old we’ve got the ability to shape it or get something out of the wicket.
“It’s not a case of we go hard first and then bide our time until we attack again. We like to think there’s a relentless persistence with us and they’re always under the pump. We try and restrict the runs and when the opportunities do come, the scoreboard has been kept under control.”
It’s a strategy which has served Surrey well so far and they will look to continue their fine form in their fourth LV= County Championship game of the season against Gloucestershire, beginning on 28 April, boosted by the addition of New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme.