England will bid to win Test and one-day international series on the same tour of South Africa for the first time at Centurion tomorrow.
England will have three opportunities to secure the feat – after a securing a 2-0 series lead – and head to SuperSport Park favourites to complete the job at the first time of asking after the impressive performances in Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.
Paceman Reece Topley believes back-to-back series wins would be a “massive feat for English cricket” but is expecting a Proteas backlash with the series on the line.
“They have got the players and the capability to come hard at us tomorrow,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“It’s their last chance because if they’re not on it tomorrow the series is gone. I’m sure that they will be focused, they’ll be on it and wanting to come hard at us.
“I think if we stick to our methods and what we’ve done all the time then I think we’ve got a winning formula at the minute. We shouldn’t go too far from that.”
England’s only defeat of the tour so far came at Centurion, when the Test series had already been won, but there will be more on the line tomorrow.
“The Test match did not go to plan here,” Topley said.
“But if we can win tomorrow – and finish the series here, and then also back up what the Test boys did, because they did such a great job here as well, two series wins away from home in South Africa would be a massive feat for English cricket.”
Part of England’s success so far has been Topley’s blossoming new-ball partnership with fellow left-armer David Willey.
They might not have the experience of their Test counterparts in James Anderson and Stuart Broad but their enthusiasm for the job is reaping its own rewards with Topley returning a career-best 4-50 in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
“We want to keep the standards up and more importantly we want to progress,” the 21-year-old Hampshire quick said.
“We’re quite young so I think it will come with time, the experience will only do us good.
“Me and Dave enjoy opening the bowling for England together because it is something that both of us as kids have always wanted to do.
“I think we are just relishing where we are at the minute and very grateful and proud to be where we are.”
Training on Centurion’s Highveld today ahead of the 3rd ODI. Win and the series is over with two games spare pic.twitter.com/vCE4ptXuJR
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 8, 2016
Topley has only played seven ODIs, after making his debut against Australia last September, but believes the task of adapting to life in international ranks has been made easy buy the leadership team of the coaches and captain Eoin Morgan.
“I think there is a good feel in the environment,” he said.
“I think that’s down to Farbs, Trev and Morgs setting the tone of that and the advice that they give us when we go out to play and how to play our cricket is second to none.
“I think the boys have trusted that and we’ve gone out and done exactly what they said and that is to play cricket with a lot of confidence and be very aggressive.
“Trev says that we’ve got to play that aggressive brand of cricket that has been around for 150 years. It’s brilliant.
“We have a lot of confidence to try things in the middle and if you want to bowl a slower ball or a cutter you have got the confidence and the backing to do that.
“It’s the same when batting, if the batsmen get out playing a big shot so be it. I think it’s just a great place to be and a brilliant dressing-room to be in.”