Chris Jordan is confident Sussex can improve this season under calm and calculated Jason Gillespie.
The 29-year-old England man has played under Gillespie for the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League and is excited by the Australian's arrival as head coach at Hove.
All-rounder Jordan has more recently played for Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League, reaching the final but losing to Islamabad United by three wickets. Jordan scored 36 in the final and took 2-22.
The Barbados-born cricketer will next play for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in this year’s Indian Premier League. The Sunrisers’ first game is at home to Sussex team-mate, Jofra Archer’s Rajasthan Royals.
Jordan will be back at Sussex after that and is looking forward to the county campaign. He said: “We’ve had a good squad for a while now and looking back on last season, I don’t think we were far off at all in every competition. We were either a win away, a point away or a good net run rate away from qualifying or results turning into something for what people view as a good season, so that’s why I say we’re not far away.
“If we’re making a point in the 50-over competition, improving run-rate in the T20 competition and turning our bad losses in four-day cricket into draws, then all of a sudden, things are looking a little bit different.”
The Sharks finished fourth in division two of the county championship last year, but appointed Gillespie over the winter.
On the former Yorkshire head coach, Jordan said: “Ultimately, I think Jason Gillespie’s appointment is a very good one, he is a very experienced coach, he is a very respected coach. He’s just come off a very good campaign in the Big Bash (League), another high-profile tournament where he led that team really well. So, I can see it being nothing but good for us. I’ve worked with him at the Adelaide Strikers as well, so I know what to expect.
“He’s a very calm character, very calculated and he’s just allowed us to be free and just get on with the on-field matters and express ourselves on the field. A lot of our results will be down to the 11 that play. I think we need to take a lot of responsibility from that and when we do get into good positions in games we have to be ruthless and see them off, whether we’re bowling or batting.”
On improving over the winter, Jordan added: “Personally, I’ve worked on my batting. I’ve worked on my mind-set. Obviously, it has mainly been T20 cricket, but I’ve worked on my mind-set in the game, understanding that you bowl some good balls that will go for boundaries, and you’ll bowl some bad balls that will get wickets so it’s just a matter of process and bowling everything down to execution, so a lot of the mental side.
“In the final of the PSL (Pakistan Super League), I batted at four and ended up top-scoring in that final which was a nice thing for myself at the back end of a long winter. I’ll do whatever the team requires but I do like batting up the order. I do like having a bit more time and I know when I do face more balls more often than not, I’ll end up getting a big score. Wherever the team needs me to play, wherever the team sees me as being most effective, I’m happy to play that role.
“I’m definitely looking to play all forms. I still have that same drive and that same enthusiasm about four-day cricket. I love taking an edge or catching a ball at slip or having to come and dig my team out of trouble to then get a big score myself. I do enjoy those aspects of the game and I definitely do enjoy at the end of four days, coming out with a win. There’s not many more satisfying things out there. I do enjoy all forms of the game and I hope to continue my role at Sussex and hopefully England in the future.”