England coach Ashley Giles has said he is impressed by Barbados-born bowling all-rounder Chris Jordan and other young hopefuls given opportunities in the just concluded NatWest One-Day International series against Australia.
Despite losing the series 2-1 to the Aussies, Giles defended England’s decision to give a number of young players a chance and rest three of their top players in Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
Jordan, who only earlier this year played for Barbados as he continued his stated quest of nudging regional selectors for an opportunity to play for the West Indies, took 3 for 51 in 10 fiery overs where he frequently clocked in excess of 90 mph.
“Jordan, on debut, the way he bowled, the aggression he showed, the pace he bowled is something that we wouldn’t have found out about if we hadn’t rested some of the big guys. He, for one, will be really chuffed that we did,” Giles said of the Sussex pacer.
Despite losing the last game and thus the five-match series [two were abandoned because of rain] Giles believed the emergence of the likes of Ben Stokes and Boyd Rankin were encouraging signs for their preparations for the 2015 ICC World Cup.
“It was a tough defeat to take. We lost wickets up front with the bat. Ravi Bopara and Jos Buttler looked like they might get us close, but at the end of the day it wasn’t enough and to lose 2-1 is disappointing.
“But we’ve learnt a lot throughout this series from the experience of a lot of these young guys coming in and I think it’ll be valuable for them going forward. Ben Stokes, we have asked a lot of as third seamer, but it’s a role he has stepped up to the mark with. To get five-for against Australia is brilliant for him and he showed glimpses with the bat as well.
“Ben is someone who has been on the radar for a couple of years and people are starting to talk about him, I think he’s a really exciting cricketer and there’s a lot more to come from him with bat and ball,” he said.
Giles said England just needed to be careful not to push the new players too hard since it [their development] still took the time and the experience of playing.
“But so far so good on the report card,” he said.
Jordan was first selected for the Barbados team early last year by the George Linton-led selection panel ahead of the likes of Miguel Cummins and Jason Holder but while the latter two have over the last year or so got opportunities at the West Indies senior and West Indies ‘A’ levels, such opportunities have not come Jordan’s way.
Jordan, 24, who played for Combermere, was recruited by former England Test batsman Bill Athey on a cricket scholarship to Dulwich College. He later went on to play county cricket for Surrey but his stint there was largely dogged by injury and he was later released by the club even though his obvious ability was recognised by followers of the game. His career has taken off since his switch to Sussex where he has been that county’s top bowler this year.
Jordan qualified to play for England through his British grandmother. (WG/Sky)