Chris Jordan says no-one in the England squad is under pressure to cement their place despite the World Twenty20 Cup looming on the horizon.
Jordan has missed only one of England’s 28 T20 matches since the last T20 World Cup in 2016 and is the side’s second-highest wicket-taker of all-time with 56 scalps at an average of 23.71.
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The 31-year-old admits there is competition for places but says the camaraderie in the squad fostered by skipper Eoin Morgan means that strength-in-depth is a positive ahead of October’s global tournament.
“One of the hallmarks of this team is that whoever is playing at the time is trying to keep their standards as high as possible,” he said ahead of Friday’s second T20 international against South Africa in Durban, which is live on Sky Sports Cricket from 3.30pm on Friday.
“I don’t think that the environment has been created in such a way to feel that pressure for a playing spot. You have that in any team anyway but I don’t think that is the focus at all.
“We have a strong squad here and any XI we put out on any given day is strong enough to beat any team so those are the things that we are trying to focus on as much as possible.”
The tourists are 1-0 down in the three-match series after losing the opener in East London by one run despite some fine death bowling – Jordan taking two wickets in as many balls in the final over to restrict the hosts to 177-8.
But England could not chase down their target as seamer Lungi Ngidi successfully defended seven off the final over of the innings.
“With our batting line-up I am confident of chasing pretty much any score,” reflected Jordan. “Seven off seven should be doable. But credit to Ngidi, he bowled a good last over.
“Potentially we could have been a little bit smarter at times but T20 cricket is one of those things. You try to take the positive option more often than not and some days it goes your way, some days it doesn’t.”
England may select the same XI at Kingsmead to keep continuity but batsman Dawid Malan is pushing hard for a recall, his average of 57.25 with a strike rate of 156.31 after nine T20 internationals making a compelling case.
Should the visitors opt to make a change then Joe Denly, who made just three in the first T20, could be the player to make way.
Whatever the decision, Jordan says England have a powerful batting unit, which is only helping him to improve as a bowler.
“I honestly find our training sessions so beneficial because I am bowling at some of the best in the world,” he said. “Literally, if you miss your mark, you go out the park.
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