Ind vs Eng, T20 World Cup

Ind vs Eng, T20 World Cup
Chris Jordan is set to play in England’s T20 World Cup semi-final against India in Adelaide on Thursday night after doubts emerged over Mark Wood’s fitness.

Wood has been a revelation for England in T20Is since returning to international cricket in Pakistan following a lay-off with an elbow injury. He has consistently bowled above 90mph/145kph throughout the World Cup in Australia, taking nine wickets with an economy rate of 7.71 in the process.

But he has hardly bowled in England’s two training sessions at Adelaide Oval this week due to a minor injury and ESPNcricinfo understands that he is unlikely to feature against India as a result. The England camp have described the injury as muscle stiffness.

Jordan has only played one competitive game since recovering from a finger injury sustained in the Hundred, taking 0 for 39 in three overs against Australia in Canberra last month, but he is a hugely experienced T20 bowler. If selected, he will provide an option for Jos Buttler at the death alongside Sam Curran while he is also England’s best fielder.

Phil Salt also appears likely to play for the first time in this tournament, with Dawid Malan struggling in his bid to overcome a groin strain sustained during England’s win against Sri Lanka. Salt is expected to be carded at No. 3 but could slide down the order if England start well, in keeping with the flexible batting order they have used throughout the World Cup.

With Jordan’s likely inclusion further lengthening England’s batting line-up, the alternative option would be for David Willey to be Malan’s replacement and bat down the order, with Ben Stokes carded to bat at No. 3. That would mean England fielding a team with eight bowling options – including five seamers – but Willey’s left-arm swing with the new ball could be a potent weapon against India’s opening pair of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma.

Buttler said on Wednesday that England would give Wood and Malan “as long as possible” to prove their fitness. “We’ll see how they pull up,” he said. “Dawid left the field the other day with a small niggle and Woody has had a little bit of stiffness, but we trust the medical team. We trust those two guys as well and we’ll give them as long as possible.

“You need guys to be fit to participate in the game. In all sport you have players that don’t always play at 100 percent, but you have to be able to fulfill your role in the team. We have 15 guys preparing to play and there’s been some really tough selections throughout the whole tournament. We’ve got some fantastic players who have not yet played in the tournament and they’re all desperate to make their mark if given a chance.”

Jordan and Salt both have experience of Adelaide Oval’s dimensions – short square boundaries, longer straight ones – having played for Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash. Salt has played 16 innings at the venue, averaging 26.66 with a strike rate of 147.60, while Jordan has taken seven wickets in his four appearances there, with an economy rate of 9.14 an over.

England have named the same team throughout the World Cup. They have four unused squad members in Jordan, Salt, Willey and Tymal Mills, while Liam Dawson, Luke Wood and Richard Gleeson have been with the group as travelling reserves.

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