Following England's catastrophic defeat at Chester-le-Street on Sunday, new coach Peter Moores could not have asked for more than the performance offered by his team at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
After being bowled out for 99 on Sunday, it seems the bowlers were in no such mood to allow a similar batting display today, bowling Sri Lanka out for 67 in emphatic fashion, albeit in helpful early-season conditions, before Alastair Cook and Ian Bell saw off the total with ease.
The star of the show was undoubtedly Chris Jordan, whose 5-for-29 was the standout performance among a bowling attack who all delivered impressive figures.
The clamour for Jordan's ascension to the Test team is now at fever pitch. It seems inconceivable that when England's squad for the first Test of the summer against Sri Lanka is named next week, that Jordan's name will not be among those read out.
Even prior to this ODI series, many felt that the early promise displayed by Jordan over the winter—and then even more so in early-season championship cricket for his county, Sussex—was enough to suggest the Barbadian-born paceman was read for the Test stage. Indeed, he has taken 11 wickets at an average of 19 in the two championship matches he has played thus far and would certainly not have been an unlikely or surprising pick for Test selection two weeks ago.
Now, however, Jordan has picked up two man-of-the-match awards in three matches and in the absence of Stuart Broad and alongside James Anderson, he can be seen to be leading England's ODI attack. Not to mention the all-round potential his batting boasts.
But perhaps more impressive than simply his bowling is the manner with which Jordan has performed and the way he has received the acclaim that has come his way.
After his five-wicket haul on Wednesday, Jordan, as per ESPNcricinfo's Andrew McGlashan, was candid in his beliefs that he should allow his cricket, not his mouth or posturing, to do the talking. "Too much talking may distract me from my task, so I try to keep my eye on the prize," said Jordan. "When you cross that line you are playing international cricket so you try to play as hard as possible."
While it is, of course, far easier to talk and behave with such maturity when things are going well, his level-headed approach is impressive all the same.
He also doesn't appear to be resting on his laurels now that he is in form or that his inclusion in England's Test squad seems certain.
"The way he prepares for every game, the way he looks after himself, he's the ultimate professional," David Saker told Sky Sports (via McGlashan) after Wednesday's match. "He's fantastic to work with, he always wants to get better and he is getting better every game. He's just been fantastic."
Jordan, at just 25 years of age, can very much be said to belong to the "new era" that Moores and Alastair Cook have been so keen to emphasise is dawning.
He's long been a prodigious talent, having been earmarked from a young age for impressive things. However, after a period of turmoil at Surrey, the promise displayed by Jordan's burly physique and pace quickly faded away in the more brutal light of uninspiring performances. However, a move to Sussex at the beginning of the 2013 season appears to have reinvigorated his career.
Jordan's all-round abilities and burly, powerful action are reminiscent of a perhaps prototypical and enhanced Tim Bresnan. Bresnan has long been a central figure in England's Test team, but his career trajectory appears to be on the downward slope. It is highly unlikely, especially after the performances of Jordan, that Bresnan will find his way into the Test squad.
Jordan, in a bowling attack alongside the height, zip and accuracy of Broad and canny, skillful swing of Anderson is one that has nice balance and variation.
These are certainly exciting times. But you can be sure that Chris Jordan won't be getting carried away.
England and Sri Lanka now head to Lord's for the fourth ODI on Saturday.
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