Team England was left shell-shocked after the finals of the T20 World cup in 2016. Needing 19 to defend in the final over, Ben Stokes conceded four consecutive sixes to Carlos Brathwaite. The unimaginable had just happened.
As Stokes was reeling under extreme agony, a hand of comfort rubbed against his shoulder. It was a gesture that soothed his nerves and an indication that his moment of celebration too would be enshrined in the annals of the cricketing history. And that messiah who comforted Stokes was none other than Chris Jordan.
Ever since that fateful evening, the Barbados born all-rounder has been in the thick of things in England's T20 setup.
While T20 is always considered a format where a lot of experimentation can be done regarding the team composition, Jordan's presence in each of the 30 odd games since the 2016 T20 World cup is a testimony to his consistent performances.
Out of 52 matches, Jordan has picked up 63 wickets at an average of 24.76 and an economy rate of 8.67*. Though his economy is slightly on the higher side, he often does the difficult job of bowling at the back end of the innings.
Jordan's strength is his accuracy. He has the ability to nail the yorkers in such a way that the batsmen find it difficult to get underneath the ball. He also mixes it up with the odd short ball and a slower ball, thereby not becoming too predictable. Batsmen would find it difficult to line up for his deliveries.
Jordan's strength is a testament to the fact that 32 of his 63 wickets have been caught out. Whenever England desperately needed a wicket or wanted to stem the flow of runs, skipper Eoin Morgan would throw the ball the Jordan. And time and again, he has delivered the goods.
Jordan's outstanding figures of 4 for 6 ensured that West Indies were bowled out for a paltry 45 at St Kitts and Nevis in 2019. However, Jordan must note the there is plenty of competition going in the bowling contingent and must not be complacent about his place in the team.
While Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes could be touted as automatic choices for the 2021 T20 World cup, there is Mark Wood, David Willey, and the Curran brothers (Sam and Tom) waiting in the wings.
Always calm under pressure and dependable, Jordan may not grab the headlines often. He quietly goes about his business and allows others to take the plaudits.
Jordan is certainly not only a messiah for Ben Stokes, but for the entire England team as well.
* The record stands applicable as on September 8 2020 after the conclusion of the third T20 between England and Australia.
Appendix:- Relevant links
https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18913/scorecard/1158072/west-indies-vs-england-2nd-t20i-england-tour-of-wi-2018-19Published 15 Sep 2020, 14:43 IST