England v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Old Trafford May 28, 2014

Jordan aggression speaks louder than words


Chris Jordan loves nothing more than hurling down a few bouncers, but is less bothered about hurling a few words at the batsmen along with them.

He would prefer the more silent-assassin type role and it certainly worked a treat at Old Trafford as he bagged 5 for 29 to inspire England to a 10-wicket win as they bundled out Sri Lanka for 67. Jordan's figures were the best by an England bowler at Old Trafford and the best for England since Chris Woakes' 6 for 45 against Australia in 2011.

In Durham, Sri Lanka appeared to try and ruffle Jordan with a few words and again at Old Trafford there were a couple of occasions when the experienced Mahela Jayawardene appeared to try to engage him. The most the Sri Lankans got back was a stare, and maybe another bouncer. Jordan sounded quite hopeful they would continue.

"That kind of stuff doesn't faze me," he said. "If anything it gets me going a little bit more. I try to leave as much as I can on the field if not everything. I've always been quite an aggressive performer. Too much talking may distract me from my task, so I try to keep my eye on the prize. When you cross that line you are playing international cricket so you try to play as hard as possible."

After having injury problems earlier in his career, Jordan is now renowned for how he keeps himself in shape and gained a glowing appraisal from David Saker, the fast bowling coach.

"He's just an ultimate professional," Saker told Sky Sports. "The way he prepares for every game, the way he looks after himself, he's the ultimate professional. He's fantastic to work with, he always wants to get better and he is getting better every game. He's just been fantastic."

England appear to be pushing Jordan into the role of an impact bowler, utilising the pace which has discomforted some of Sri Lanka's batsman, and he is keen to continue to make full use of the short balls available to him.

"That's something we spoke about so hopefully we can continue throughout the series. I want to be able to hit teams hard and use the short ball wisely because you are allowed two in an over. So with the extra man inside the circle I'm sure if the guys can get it up there they will try their best to use all two."

It was a simple decision for Man of the Match, as it was at The Oval when he played a central role in England's victory at the start of the series. On that occasion it was his innings of 38 off 13 balls that played as much a part as his bowling, but today there was little chance of his batting being needed.

England are expected to name their squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka a week on Thursday and only injury will prevent Jordan's name being it. He was a strong favourite based on his Championship form for Sussex before this series but, even having backed that up, he refuses to let his mind wander.

"Today I was concentrating on Old Trafford, now that is done we have to draw a line under that and move onto Lord's. That's my focus." Whether Jordan wants to admit it or not, he is clearly one of the coming men of English cricket

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on May 30, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    @ first_slip, what is your preconceived prejudice of what is deemed 'normal' conditions? Should they be written into the laws of the game preventing any international cricket being played in the Northern Hemisphere?

  • Bob on May 30, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    I hope the ECB and the English fans have learned some lessons from the past, where we have hyped up players after a good showing on the county circuit.. and put in a couple of decent performances in internationals, only for the walls to come tumbling down around our ears.. We've been there too many times... Certainly there is no way we will ever know Jordon's true potential until he actually plays test cricket and then, only after a period of sustained pressure against top class opposition, will we know if he has what it takes..

  • Prbath on May 29, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    5 wickets in just one game, and those wickets too given to him on a platter and English fans talking him up, lets see how he pla in fair condition against sri lanka than these winter condition,

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    Jordan is a top bloke. Saw him chatting to fans last Summer, came across really well. However, if pace is the name of the game, then Mills has a yard and a half over Jordan. Jordan is more likely to be a complete cricketer in time - but Mills is a prospect for pace for certain. Roland-Jones and some others? England have a lot of young pacers coming through. But the issue is still with the spin department. Hope it's not another 30 years before we get a spinner to replace Swann. That, a test opening partner for Cooke, making the choice on the keeper - and a number 4 in all forms of cricket? Still plenty of questions for England to answer.

  • Naveed on May 29, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    this is a decent sri lanka side, 5 wickets speaks for itself, he should get a run in tests, not connecting the "great fast bowler" dots just yet BUT , he only needs one performance like that in the next couple of outings to suggest it is an upward trend...to be added to his list of professional achievements, and hopefully for this summer culminates in the complete decimation of the indian batting line up.

  • Roshan on May 29, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    Four man pace attack at home against Sri Lanka in the Test series is exactly what we need. Definitely Anderson-Broad-Jordan. Best to get Jordan in the Test team now against what you would say is not such a great batting line-up and at home to get his confidence up. It's a shame that Onions, who was looking a cert for this series in the winter, won't play. It's also encouraging to see Steven Finn doing so well in the County Championship and he'll definitely make his way to the England squad soon. My XI for the Test series:

    1) Cook, 2) Robson, 3) Compton, 4) Ballance / Taylor, 5) Bell, 6) Stokes / Woakes, 7) Prior (or Buttler possibly), 8) Broad, 9) Jordan, 10) Anderson, 11) Panesar.

  • David on May 29, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    A simple rule of cricket is never try to antagonise the quickest bloke on the other side.

  • rob on May 29, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    I noticed that England looked to have more energy about them in the ODI series in Australia. It was nearly all due to Jordan imo. He's got a good attitude and he might be one of those guys who sort of rubs off onto you. Optimism and willingness to do the hard yards can be contagious. .. anyway, he's a really good prospect and hopefully he'll still be playing next time we go there.

    @ CricketingStargazer : maybe they didn't think Jordan was tall enough. You had a 'height-enhanced only' policy at the time as I recall.

  • Senguttuvan on May 29, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    Srilanka can play triangular series with hongkong and nepal

  • udendra on May 29, 2014, 3:54 GMT

    Good that Jordan plays for England. Wouldn't have been the same down in West Indies.

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