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Cricket news - Jordan sends a memo before the World Cup

Although a regular in T20Is, Chris Jordan last played an ODI in September 2016 and no one is really sure why.

The end of the first Twenty20 brought with it great excitement. England had just taken a 1-0 lead in the "seriously, how many more matches are there?" series. A number of fringe players finally had their chance to run about. But more pressingly - it was just 12 sleeps till Joframas!

As you're all no doubt aware, Jofra Archer, healer of all woes, the remedy of all ills, mother of dragons (a very good cricketer) officially becomes an England player - sorry, English qualified player - on March 17 as he completes his final set of 210 days of residency in the country. Fittingly, the British government have ensured everyone has the day off to mark the occasion. Cricket, after all, is coming home.

But as the nation waits for their Bajan-born saviour to lead them to World Cup glory, another has been quietly twiddling his thumbs as an afterthought in England's white ball plans.

Chris Jordan last played an ODI in September 2016 and, to be honest, no one is really sure why. His record up to that point of 43 wickets and an economy rate of 5.95 from 31 matches is not spectacular, but certainly commands respect. He was far from a regular fixture up to that point: that last match, against Pakistan, was only his seventh 50-over game for England in 2016 having only turned out for five the year before. All in, he was selected for 12 of 44 possible ODIs across those two years.

The reasons for his continued non-selection have never really been explained. The logic, or at least the assumed logic, was the England management wanted to move away from a bowling attack of identikit right-arm medium-fasts. There was also talk that for all his skills at the death, Jordan lacked the variety to be an option in the middle overs, and his naturally fuller length meant opening batsmen could hit him through the line in the first 10 overs. Statistics may dismiss that entirely, or indeed back it up. But that's all it was at the time - talk.

Yet here in Saint Lucia, Jordan, who turns 31 later this year, showed plenty of the requisite skills to excel in the 50-over format. He may have only bowled three overs, as Eoin Morgan made ends meet elsewhere, but he was brisk - hitting a high of 88mph according to CricViz - and showed a bit of nous to snare the crucial wicket of Chris Gayle with a wide yorker.

He saved his most spectacular trick for his second wicket when, upon deceiving Darren Bravo with a slower off-cutter, he completed the dismissal with a remarkable shuffle and dive to take a stunning one-handed catch. Of his 18 balls delivered, 10 were dots. Every other quick going at above nine runs an over, while Jordan went for a miserly 5.33.

Jordan's ability to nail T20 fundamentals is no surprise given he plays more of it than any other England cricketer. Since the start of 2018, Jordan has played domestic T20 across six different competitions, representing Sussex, Sydney Thunder, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Peshawar Zalmi, Chittagong Vikings, Northern Districts and Adelaide Strikers.

He was the pick of England's bowlers in the 2016 T20 WC and, while he has played all 20 of England's shortest form matches since then, it was often because frontline ODI quicks were given time off.

"I'm not resigned (to it)," Jordan answered, when asked if his World Cup hopes were done and dusted because of his lack of ODIs. "Obviously I'd love to be involved in the 50-over stuff. I can only play what's in front of me at the minute and it's T20 cricket."

Perhaps it was apt that Tom Curran, who finished with four for 36, was given the last over by Morgan, leaving Jordan with an over unbowled. Ultimately, it has been Curran's emergence that has shifted Jordan a spot down in the ODI pecking order. The England captain felt the Surrey man's slower balls would do the trick against batsmen new to the crease.

Could Jordan's plight be a cautionary tale for Jofra Archer? A story of how one man can start his international career playing all three formats only to be pigeonholed as a master of one. It was telling that Stuart Broad, a pundit in the Sky Sports studio, stated he felt Jordan's at his best with a red ball in his hand.

Probably not given, beyond Jordan and Archer's Barbados backgrounds and Sussex groundings, they are different players, even if both are walking highlight reels. The 23-year-old's extra pace is his USP and, from March 17, it will be this and Archer's other tricks that will be shifting Jordan a little bit further away from ODI cricket.

Cricket works in mysterious, insufferable ways so don't be surprised if England approach their best chance at 50-over silverware dealing with a spate of injuries to their bowling reserves - not too far-fetched considering the personnel. Only in that worst case scenario will Jordan get the nod for the World Cup squad. One thing, though, would be guaranteed - he'd be more than capable of holding his own.

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