Jordan suffers 'not today' day
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