While the ECB scramble around trying to find their best Test side this summer, the identity of an elusive all-rounder could be standing right in front of them.
Enter Chris Jordan, who has made a great start to his limited-overs international career. There’s no reason why that form can’t be replicated with a red ball in the home series against Sri Lanka and India this year.
The Sussex seamer is making his mark on England’s ODI side, taking two man-of-the-match awards in his last three outings. Figures of 5-29 in the 10-wicket victory over World T20 champions, Sri Lanka, are testament to his raw natural ability.
But it isn’t all about bowling when it comes to Jordan. The 25-year-old is also pretty handy with the bat, scoring 38 not out in the opening ODI with Sri Lanka this summer.
An English cricketer with top quality batting and bowling capabilities has been highly sought after since the retirement of Andrew Flintoff. A dangerous all-rounder can really alter the DNA of a team.
The Barbados-born bowler has now taken 19 wickets in 11 ODI innings, a record that would be greatly welcomed in the Test arena.
Now is a better time than any for ambitious international cricketers to mould themselves into the England team. Across all formats of the game, the Three Lions have been lacklustre over the past six months.
An atrocious showing in the Ashes series down under was subsequently followed by group stage elimination at the World T20 tournament in Bangladesh earlier this year.
With such indecision around the side, a purple patch with either bat or ball is a sure way for players to put themselves into the international picture.
And Jordan is certainly one of the players who has impressed most since being introduced to the England dressing room.
Harry Gurney is another who has started strongly, but the superior batting pyrotechnics of Jordan make him stand out even more.
A risk that comes with the prospect of another England all-rounder, is the comparisons that will be drawn to former greats like Flintoff or Sir Ian Botham.
Pressure can be heaped on young international prodigies, but at 25, Jordan should have enough experience to overcome media speculation.
Continued brilliance with bat and ball for the remainder of the ODI series with Sri Lanka will only improve Jordan’s chances of a Test bow this summer.
With a home crowd roaring him on, he may well hit the ground running in five-day cricket as well as he has begun in limited-overs international cricket.
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