Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 June 2019

England's Chris Jordan on heroics against West Indies: Wait 'worth it for days like this'

Seamer, who has managed just 11 days of international cricket since start of 2018, pleased to make impact in 137-run win

Chris Jordan, left, rattled through the West Indies middle order, sending back Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran and Fabian Allen. Randy Brooks / AFP
Chris Jordan, left, rattled through the West Indies middle order, sending back Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran and Fabian Allen. Randy Brooks / AFP

Chris Jordan has had to wait longer than most for his moments in the England spotlight but the paceman needed just 12 deliveries to underline his match-winning qualities in St Kitts.

The 30-year-old seamer has played all three formats for England but has been used by selectors as a Twenty20 specialist for the past two-and-a-half years.

That means he has managed just 11 days of international cricket since the start of 2018, a curiously light workload for a man who sowed the seeds of a punishing 137-run win in Wednesday's second T20 against the West Indies.

Jordan rattled through the middle order, sending back Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran and Fabian Allen in two explosive overs as the hosts slumped to 22-6 and eventually subsided for 45 - the lowest ever total by a full member nation.

Where he often relies on slower balls, wide yorkers and occasionally his own remarkable catching ability, his latest cameo was built around good, old-fashioned pace bowling, with three outside edges and one lbw.

And while his box of tricks may primarily be honed away from the England set-up, that remains his favourite stage.

"When days like today come off, every ounce of sweat is worth it," he said. "I'm working so hard at my game every day, I'd like to think I've improved.

"I'm training well, my body's in good order and one of the things I identified is that as long as I'm fit, anything can happen on the cricket field.

"You try add a few skills along the way, put yourself in situations where you gain a bit of confidence and keep trying to string together the good days. It's all worth it when you have days like this.

"I'll take any wickets, especially in T20 cricket, but it was nice to show another string to my bow. The ball was doing a bit and I was able to exploit that."

With solid support from the rest of the attack - David Willey, Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid all taking two apiece as the innings subsided in less than 12 overs - even England were taken aback at the final margin.

"I can't believe it, honestly, especially for a T20 game on such a small ground and against a side where the big hitters just keep on coming," Jordan said.

"The bowling unit was up to the task but the communication was important, too, batsmen relating to us what they thought were the hardest balls to face on that pitch."

Another eye-catching performance would amp up the momentum Jordan has built over the past few days, throwing him firmly into the conversation for a World Cup squad that appeared to be passing him by.

He still qualifies as a long shot, having last played the 50-over cricket in September 2016, but he has not given up on going to the tournament alongside his close friend and Sussex teammate Jofra Archer.

The latter qualifies for England next week and has been guaranteed an audition for the squad. But will Jordan be there, too?

"It would be a dream for sure, 100 per cent," he said.

"I spend a lot of time with him and we do a lot of work together. If he makes, if I make it, whoever makes it, hopefully we can go all the way and win that trophy."

Updated: March 9, 2019 10:41 AM

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