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Reece Topley says bowlers must 'take their medicine' as England and West Indies prepare for run-fest

England seamer Reece Topley says bowlers must prepare to 'take their medicine' when they face the West Indies on a St Lucia pitch that threatens to deliver a run-fest at the T20 World Cup.

The global tournament has been dominated by the ball thus far, with record-breaking bowling performances and just three innings of 200 or more in the entire group stage.

But two of those have come in the last three days at the ground in Beausejour, suggesting the pendulum has turned just in time for the defending champions to meet the co-hosts in a battle of the big-hitters.

On Monday the West Indies piled up 218 for five against Afghanistan at the venue, the highest total of the competition to date, with Nicholas Pooran's 53-ball 98 also a tournament record.

While batters in both line-ups will be relishing the prospect in their first game of the Super 8s, Topley accepts life has just got harder for those at the other end.

"The wickets have been kind to bowlers so far so it might be time to take a bit of medicine," Topley admitted.

"We might be in the business of problem solving now. Things are a bit more complicated as a bowler but the mission is the same. Fundamentally it's still the same — you're trying to nullify someone else's strengths.

"You can probably say towards the end that a single is a win now, whereas last week you could be a bit more attacking and a bit more aggressive with field placings.

"Our batters might be licking their lips though and hopefully they can deliver the goods. Hopefully come Saturday morning we've had two good games and everyone will be smiling."

England all-rounder Liam Livingstone is a major doubt for the match despite getting the all-clear after a side problem. He did not attend training on Tuesday after feeling unwell, with Sam Curran set to hold his place.

Paceman Chris Jordan has also been under the weather, with England monitoring his readiness as they look to choose between his skills at the death and Mark Wood's electric pace.

In recent years England teams have become accustomed to dominating crowds in the Caribbean, with large travelling support comfortably outnumbering the local contingent.

But that will not be the case this time on an island where the bond between public and team burns bright.

The Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium is named after the West Indies' current coach, the first St Lucian to play international cricket and a two-time T20 World Cup winning captain, while one of the stands is dedicated to another local boy done good — opener Johnson Charles.

For once, there is no question about England feeling like the away team.

"We've not played in front of an 'opposition crowd' for a long time now, even when we were out here in November it was very well supported by English fans," said Topley.

"Maybe the West Indies will be trying to get their own back for our fans, who were so incredible on that trip. Hopefully they'll try and rally them and create a cauldron of an atmosphere.

"One of the funniest parts of the job is playing in front of those different atmospheres and we want it to be one of the nights we look back on at the end of the tournament as an important night in us going all the way.

"I don't think I put much of a foot wrong leading up and felt I contributed enough to be in the team."

Topley found himself out of the team at the start of the competition, missing the first two matches to continue his tough run at World Cups.

He was ruled out of the 2022 win by a freak injury on the eve of the tournament and was forced to depart last year‘s 50-over defence while he was the team‘s top wicket-taker due to a broken finger.

Now he has fought his way back into the XI, excelling in the powerplay overs against Oman and Namibia.

"I was disappointed but each game I'm sure there's four disappointed players," he said.

"I don't think I put much of a foot wrong leading up and felt I contributed enough to be in the team. I'll have proved my point once I contribute a bit more."

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