England bowling coach David Saker is encouraged by the emergence of Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes on a difficult tour of Australia.
Saker has overseen the progression of both with the ball, Jordan during the ongoing one-day series and Stokes in both that and the Ashes the preceded it, also resulting in defeat for the tourists.
Saker, who today said he hopes to remain part of England’s coaching set-up, has helped 25-year-old Jordan prove dangerous up front and Stokes, 22, become an important part of the attack in addition to his batting prowess.
“With what’s happened on this tour I think it’s great to see other players and see new players come in and stand up, and it also puts pressure on other players that are also in the side,” Saker enthused.
“The bigger you can have a crop of players the better for your team. Right at the moment we need a lot of people standing up and it’s been good that himself [Jordan] and Ben Stokes have stood up the way they have, two young players, [who are a] good future for England cricket. It’s exciting.”
While Jordan and Stokes’ form is a cause for optimism, Steven Finn’s struggles have tested Saker’s coaching credentials.
Finn, 24, initially a member of all England’s squads for this tour, last week returned to the UK to continue working on technical aspects of his game.
"We've been trying really hard for the whole time he was here on different things," Saker said. "We were getting places at times and at other times we were going backwards.
"He's a fantastic kid and going forward he's going to be a big part of the future of English cricket. He just has to sort out a few problems and we’ll go from there."