ESSEX fast bowler Reece Topley says he can help the Eagles reach t20 Finals Day despite an injury plagued campaign.
The 20-year-old has been in and out of the side with injuries this year but has still made ten appearances in the competition, claiming nine wickets.
However that is down on the previous two years, where he took a total of 38 wickets.
And the 6ft 7in bowler says it has been difficult to maintain any sort of form all the while he is struggling with injuries.
“It is hard to find a level of continuity whilst you are in and out of the side with injuries,” said Topley.
“But after this season I will move forward and be able to progress as a cricketer.
“I played a lot of cricket last summer so it will be nice to go away this winter and rest and recuperate.
“It is a case of getting through to the end of the season and I am still young so I will be back – and back better than ever.
“Saying that, I still believe I can contribute to success this season.
“If I do well and the team does well it will be a beautiful day but if I play badly and the team wins that will be ok as well!”
Topley’s best figures this season came against Middlesex, where he claimed 3-26, but says the Birmingham Bears also possess a strong line-up, which features the second highest wicket-taker of this year’s competition, Jeetan Patel.
“They have a decent bowling attack,” he said. “(Rikki) Clarke is a very economical bowler and we know all about (Varun) Chopra at the top of the order and Patel. We know they are strong competitors but we need to play to our strengths.
“It is important that we hit some form this weekend after some disappointing recent results, but we will look at the tables and our form overall in the competition and take great confidence from that.
“All the positives we have taken from this year’s competition mean we approach this one in a confident mood.”
Topley’s positive start to his Test match career, in which he had an average run-to-wicket ratio of 23.55, drew praise from former England captain Michael Vaughan, who described the bowler as ‘a future Test star’.
And his statistics this season are even more favourable, at an average of 20.08, but the 20-year-old is not getting ahead of himself.
“I get told about England from time-to-time but all I want to do is play. If I stay fit and bowl well then hopefully it will lead to bigger and better things.”