Chris Jordan says intense competition for places is lifting England’s white-ball sides

Chris Jordan says the strong competition for places in England’s successful white-ball sides is raising the level of quality.

England are the reigning 50-over World Cup champions while they have now gone eight T20I series without defeat after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match contest with South Africa.

A pre-series internal warm-up match highlighted England’s strength in depth, with Test skipper Joe Root and fast bowler Olly Stone impressing despite not currently being in the T20 squad.

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Seamer Jordan – who became England’s joint highest wicket-taker in all T20 internationals, alongside Stuart Broad, when he dismissed Quinton de Kock in Paarl on Sunday – told Sky Sports: “The competition is really good fun.

“In the warm-ups everyone wanted to get each other out or smash each other for six. It raises the level of everyone’s game in general.

“You see the way Sam [Curran] is striking the ball at the minute, it is pretty unbelievable – he has come back from the IPL with a lot of confidence.

“We are pulling in the same direction, trying to make the team and squad better and those types of things get you ready for series like this.”

Jordan’s dismissal of De Kock took him level on 65 T20I wickets with Broad and the Sussex seamer will be looking to take the record outright when England conclude their T20I series against South Africa in Cape Town on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 3.30pm.

“It’s obviously a nice milestone to have – but as long as I am doing my job day in and day out and the team are winning games and series I am more than happy. If the accolades come with that, so be it.”

Reflecting on Sunday’s victory, in which England limited South Africa to 146-6 before No 1-ranked T20I batsman Dawid Malan hit 55 from 40 deliveries and Jordan hit the winning run, the bowler said: “It’s good to win the series – that’s what we set out to do first and foremost.

“We put a lot of things right in the bowling department in the second game, restricting South Africa on what we thought was a pretty decent wicket. With our batting line-up, we feel most par scores are 15 or 20 short.

“I think Dawid’s innings shows why he is at No 1 right now. He didn’t come out and blast it – he soaked up a lot of pressure and assessed the situation.

“He realised he needed to bat to the end if we were going to have a real solid chance of winning the game. He got out to a fantastic catch but he got the job done.”

Will England make any changes for final T20I?

With the series secured with a game to play, Sky Sports Cricket expert Michael Atherton feels England will think about making changes for Tuesday’s final fixture at Newlands, with left-arm seamer Reece Topley and off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali possible inclusions.

Atherton said: “I wonder whether they might consider someone like Topley, who they are keen to give an opportunity.

“I would definitely consider someone like Moeen as you need to get a sense before you get too far down the line [towards the 2021 T20 World Cup in India] whether he is your second spinner in conditions like this.”

Watch the third and final T20 international between South Africa and England live on Sky Sports Cricket from 3.30pm on Tuesday.

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