Sam Curran had no qualms about surrendering new-ball duties to Reece Topley after watching his Surrey team-mate deliver the goods in England’s World Cup win over Bangladesh.
Curran opened the bowling alongside Chris Woakes in the opening-day defeat by New Zealand, and took a wicket with his very first ball as Will Young nicked an inswinger down leg.
But Topley was recalled to bolster the attack for Tuesday’s clash in Dharamshala and the 6ft 7in left-armer was in wonderful form, taking out Tanzid Hasan and Najmul Hossain Shanto with consecutive deliveries in his first over and then bowling the dangerous Shakib Al Hasan with a beauty that crept past the outside edge and hit off stump.
A standout #CWC23 performance with the ball, Reece Topley
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) October 10, 2023
Those early breakthroughs knocked the stuffing out of the chase before it had really begun as Topley finished with figures of four for 43 in a heavy 137-run victory.
Curran was on hand at the death to claim the final wicket of the match and had nothing but praise for the man who replaced him at the top of the innings.
“Of course I would like the new ball, but what I like doing for the team is adapting and I thought Reece bowled amazingly,” he said.
“To get two in two and three in the powerplay really set Bangladesh back quickly. It was pretty amazing for him to come back into the side and do that. It got the boys buzzing in the field and the margin we won by was important to get back on track with our net run-rate as well.
“Reece is very tall and, being a left-armer, it’s very nice to use different angles on the crease. The way he started was amazing.”
Curran also saluted the efforts of Dawid Malan, who helped himself to 140 in just 107 deliveries to power England to a winning score of 364 for nine.
Malan edged ahead of 2019 World Cup winner Jason Roy in the pecking order just before the squad was announced and made good on his promotion with a fourth century in the last nine innings.
— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) October 10, 2023
“He’s fairly quiet, but he does all his talking with the bat to be fair,” said Curran.
“He’s played really consistent cricket for a long time now, he missed out in the first game but he’s showed his class now. A big hundred is what we needed.
“The batters came out the blocks pretty well and we’ve got ourselves into the tournament with a first win now. Hopefully we can keep it going.”
England are swapping the Himalayan mountain air of Dharamshala for the hustle and bustle of Delhi next, with a game against Afghanistan to follow on Sunday.