REECE Topley will play Test cricket for England in the not-too distant future.

That is the view of Paul Grayson, who said the 20-year-old has really stepped up in the absence of a number of other key bowlers, including Tymal Mills, Sajid Mahmood, David Masters, Ravi Bopara and Graham Napier.

Topley claimed ten wickets in a match for the first time in his career against Glamorgan, skittling six of the Welsh side’s batsmen for 41 runs in the first innings, and following that up with figures of 4-67 in the second innings.

“I am a very big fan of Reece Topley,” said Grayson. “He has been struggling a bit with injury but he has shown what he is capable off when he is given half a chance. He has a huge opportunity to be a very important player for Essex for many years to come.

“I know he will play for England one day,” continued Grayson. “He has all the qualities needed to play at that level and the only question is when the call will come.”

Topley has already represented his country at under-19 level and has been recognised by former Ashes winning captain Michael Vaughan as a future star for England.

Topley is expected to face Kevin Pietersen tonight, as he makes his much anticipated return for Surrey, and Grayson says playing against the best batsmen will be good for his young bowlers.

“Pietersen is an outstanding cricketer and I have no doubt the bowlers will enjoy playing against him,” added Grayson.

“Thomas Moore and Matthew Salisbury were very impressive at the weekend and they can only improve playing against the best.”