England v India, 2nd ODI, Cardiff August 27, 2014

Jordan suffers 'not today' day

The figures were ugly, the technical problems were on show and even Chris Jordan's potential wicket-taking deliveries missed their mark

Chris Jordan is a supreme athlete. He takes superb slip catches. He fields well off his own bowling. He fields well off others' bowling. When he is about to bowl, though, he doesn't look quite as coordinated. For starters, you feel he doesn't like where his trousers are on his waist. He keeps tugging them down. He wants them lower. He keeps tugging at them as he goes up to his mark, he tugs at them when he is turning around, and then he tugs at them once again as he starts running in.

The run-up itself is not smooth. Once in Australia he lost it so badly he started to bowl from almost behind the umpire. He also tends to have his ring finger behind the ball. An extra finger. Every seamer holds the ball in two fingers and the thumb. Jordan's third finger remains astray. All three are not together. The ring finger is halfway between the middle finger and the little. That finger can push the ball down the leg side, experts say, but they also say he has always bowled this way.

Jordan hasn't been the smoothest this summer either, but is being selected over Steven Finn because of his fielding and his batting, and because Finn has had problems of his own. Between the Test series ending and the ODIs starting - nine days without any international cricket - he seems to have lost some more of the rhythm, apart from his bling. He started this match with an impressive strike rate of 30.5 and an average of 28.5, which suggests an annoying bowler who can spray it around all over the place and then get it right all of a sudden. Today is not that day.

Jordan comes on, in the 12th over, with the pressure on India, and bowls a big leg-side wide third ball. He doesn't have much luck either. In his next over, when Rohit Sharma charges at him and heaves, England feel they have got an edge, Snicko registers a little something, but the umpire doesn't. He has already conceded a four off a thick inside edge. In his next over, Jordan serves up a half-volley that is driven for four, and follows it up with two more leg-side wides. Another half-volley later, Jordan is taken off. His figures are 4-0-20-0. Still an okay day but he has bowled three leg-side wides already. Yet there have been a few good balls in between, potential wicket-takers, but they won't result in a wicket today.

Jordan comes back for a second spell with two new batsmen - Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni - in. Only two pairs have scored more runs in partnership over the last 10 years. You don't want them to get into a partnership. In his first over back, Jordan bowls a wide well outside leg. These are not any wides. These are making Jos Buttler stretch. In his second he bowls a wide outside off, and another outside leg. That makes it six wides in six overs, and he is taken off again. He will be asked to bowl in the Powerplay. Ouch.

When Jordan returns this time, his figures are 6-0-29-0. They are going to look much worse. He bowls length, and is threaded for four first ball by Raina. The next over is the real devil's over. Dhoni drives him for four. Jordan strays down the leg side. Raina gets a short one outside leg. Double digits is a real possibility. He has now begun to rush back to his mark. The crowd is getting stuck into him. He responds with another wide.

Jordan must be mindful of the slow over rate. He is also nervous. He is rushing back to his mark again. The crowd noise builds to a crescendo as he runs in. Another one smeared down leg. Dhoni lets it go nonchalantly. The crowd cheers sarcastically. This is Jordan's 10th wide of the innings already.

Jordan rushes back to the mark again, aware everyone is looking at him. He is holding the game up. It's like not being able to serve properly in a tennis match. Without you the point doesn't begin. Yet he is capable of serving an ace from out of nowhere. Today, though, is not the day. He charges in again, and bowls down leg again. Wide number 11 for the innings, and fifth of the over.

Jordan rushes back to the mark quicker, surely hoping to be swallowed up by the earth. It's a near full house. Has to be embarrassing. Now Alastair Cook has a word from mid-on. As does James Tredwell from mid-off. There is a little smile on Jordan's face. He runs in, he bowls, short of a length, angling in, hits Dhoni on the pad. This is going over, but so ecstatic is Jordan that he appeals for a long time. Much as Jordan wants it, this can't be given. The over is over. Jordan's agony, however, isn't. He will have to finish off, despite figures of 8-0-50-0.

The next two overs go for 23, but they are possibly Jordan's best of the day. He has no luck, though. He bowls a yorker in the 46th, hits Dhoni's pads, shows his athleticism by getting to the ball quick, and nearly running Dhoni out. He actually out-ran Dhoni but missed the stumps. He goes to bowl another yorker, gets a thick edge from Dhoni, and concedes four. He sends third man back, he has fine leg back, he draws a false shot from Dhoni, but Ben Stokes misjudges it so badly in the deep he doesn't even get close to it. Jordan wants to shout at someone, anyone, but he doesn't. He just bowls another wide down leg.

Jordan has to come back to bowl the 50th. First ball is length. R Ashwin ramps it over short fine. This is not smart. When he bowls smart, later in the over, he is edged past short third. It has been that kind of day for him. When he has messed up, he has been punished. When he hasn't, he has been punished. And he has messed up today more often than not. At least, unlike Stokes, Jordan has the captain's faith in being asked to bowl his quota out. Today is the day for small consolations for him.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jay on August 28, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    Historically England have always had to work hard to make their players look good. Whereas other teams can boast of a number of cricketers who were a class apart, England really have to dig deep to bring someone of great caliber. Flintoff and Botham were the closest in my opinion to being stars in the team. I heard David Gower had great style. But other than that, England have always lacked players that had a style of their own. KP was another but then he wasn't English.

  • kris on August 28, 2014, 10:55 GMT

    What is this article about? It seems just about as disjointed as everything it says about Jordan.

  • Richard on August 28, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    Jordan is a great fielder. Jordan is a reasonable bat- altho' if he doesn't prove it soon we will begin to wonder ! Jordan is a reasonable bowler too. But is he the long term answer to ENG's fast bowling future. I don't think so. As Mr. Monga points out, his run-up is stilted and just plain weird. What is all this stuff he does with the ball grip at the start of his run and pulling at his pocket? He looks half crippled. And yet when he runs around the field or is batting his running is athletic and normal. He is unbalanced at the crease and cannot reasonably expect the ball to go where he intends it. When I watch him on TV I don't know whether to laugh or cry !

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2014, 2:56 GMT

    well written article highlighting Jordan's woes. As far as edges are concerned I wouldn't read too much into it. It has now become the norm for every bowler to suffer this fate where brilliant deliveries go for boundaries behind square off the wicket. In Jordan's case he didn't do himself any favours by bowling all those wides. And when you are doing poorly in one department it affects your overall mindset as displayed by that fielding lapse against Dhoni at deep square leg. I still like Jordan for his athleticism and awareness on the field. If he can fix his line and length he can be a really good asset for England.

  • John on August 27, 2014, 23:51 GMT

    Jordan has been battling to control his line all summer and things seem to be getting worse rather than better. If England really want him for the WC then I think that they have to keep playing him and try to bowl him into form. That will put pressure on the rest until he gets it right though, and will perhaps keep someone else, e.g. Finn, on the bench.

  • Dummy4 on August 27, 2014, 21:38 GMT

    Imagine if he was selected and did this in a t20. That's 10% more balls for the opposition and 12 runs. Jordan needs to go back into county cricket and learn how to bowl a non-wide-conceding line immediately. Or is it just because he can hold a bat he somehow escapes the treatment Finn received? England need to select the bowlers who can take wickets, not who can come down the order when the game is lost anyway and fail with the bat too. Things must change for the WC!

  • Jonathan on August 27, 2014, 19:38 GMT

    @dhanno when india were failing cricinfo was filled with articles, videos and comments about how poor they all were dhoni, kohli all of them. but then again maybe your internet was down for a few days.

  • Par on August 27, 2014, 18:29 GMT

    I didnt see an article written about how every one of Indian batsmen made fool of themselves batting in Test series. YEs the guy had bad day, but in grand scheme of things it does not matter a jot. Its one ODI in millions played, if has to do it in WC, maybe then it has some significance. But out author here, spending ink to pen something about some other thing which is immaterial. When it comes to calling out Indians for what they are, we have to recruit Ian chappel.

  • Dummy4 on August 27, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    It started off with a sly smile on my face and it only grew bigger and bigger and by the time I finished reading this article, I had stomach cramps...and honestly, it was just a repeat of what I had watched LIVE.. Chris Jordan trying his best to set a field, running in hard, and only bowl wide of leg stump, one after another, and then there was Ian Bell, hapless, trying to remind Chris of the drinks break ahead.... This day belonged to Indian Fans..not that India won, but they had plenty to laugh about after the heartbreaking 3-1 in Test series..Would love to see Chris bowling more of such overs for remaining 3 ODIs.

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