Mark Ramprakash has paid a glowing tribute to Chris Jordan as he prepares to link up with England’s T20 squad ahead of the Vitality IT20 matches against Australia and India.
And Ramprakash, who is relishing his first experience of leading the Lions as head coach during the A-team Tri-Series against India and West Indies, has also saluted the contribution of Liam Dawson to consecutive opening victories.
Jordan, who was a late inclusion in the Lions squad after Craig Overton’s call into the England one-day set-up, produced a match-changing over against the West Indies in Derby on Saturday, dismissing the dangerous Jermaine Blackwood for 40 with his fifth ball and trapping Devon Thomas lbw to complete a double wicket maiden.
He ended with three for 25 from eight overs, after taking one for 47 from nine in the Lions’ opening victory over India on Friday, and Ramprakash said: “I can’t speak highly enough of how he has gone about his business, on and off the field.
I can’t speak highly enough of how (Chris Jordan) has gone about his business, on and off the field
“In CJ we’ve seen someone who’s very comfortable in his own skin. He’s shown great maturity, he’s spoken well in team meetings, he’s got great experience now with several IPL competitions behind him. His action and run-up is very smooth, he’s been very accurate, he’s bowled with good pace, obviously he’s an excellent fielder and he can bat. So he’s the sort of cricketer that any team would want. We’re sorry to see him go, although obviously we understand that’s one of the roles of the Lions, playing our part to get players ready to perform for England.”
Jordan had been due to be replaced in the Lions squad for the remainder of the Tri-Series by Overton but England announced over the weekend that the Somerset fast bowler has been ruled out by a side problem, and has been replaced by the in-form young Worcestershire all-rounder Ed Barnard.
The Lions play India A for a second time in the series on Tuesday at the Fischer County Ground, Leicester, where Rahul Dravid’s tourists are facing the West Indies on Monday.
The teams then move to Northampton, where the Lions face the Windies on Thursday in their last group game, needing one more point from their last two games to be sure of their place in the Tri-Series final at the Kia Oval next Monday (July 2).
Ramprakash has been delighted by the quality of their opening performances, in which Nick Gubbins and Sam Hain have hit centuries, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Steven Mullaney have added half centuries and Dawson has earned remarkable figures of eight for 57 from 20 overs.
“Daws has been outstanding and I think it’s the result of a lot of hard work,” added the England batting coach, who was appointed to take charge of the Lions this summer after Andy Flower’s elevation to fill in for Andrew Strauss.
“He’s got a lot of experience now around the world in different competitions, he’s very confident, he seems to know his game, he’s got great control, he’s varied his pace beautifully which is a difficult thing to do - and against good players of spin he’s been our key bowler really, because not only has he taken the wickets, but he’s gone at three an over. So it’s been a fantastic effort, and he’s been our point of difference as a bowling attack.”
Dawson’s 50-over form is also good news for Hampshire ahead of Saturday’s Royal London One-Day Cup Final against Kent Spitfires at Lord’s.