Tongue, who impressed in his two Test appearances against Ireland and Australia at Lord’s this summer, had been expected to make his white-ball debut in the course of the four-match series, with England’s selectors keen to expand their pool of fast-bowling options ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies.
However, ESPNcricinfo understands that Tongue has suffered a pectoral injury, meaning he will also miss the final stages of Manchester Originals’ Men’s Hundred campaign. Originals are due to play Southern Brave in the Eliminator at the Kia Oval on Saturday, and if successful, will face Oval Invincibles in the tournament final at Lord’s on Sunday.
Now, however, the selectors have reverted to the tried-and-tested. With 96 T20I wickets in 87 appearances, Jordan, 34, is England’s leading wicket-taker in the format, and has been in stellar form for Southern Brave in this year’s Men’s Hundred, claiming eight wickets at an economy of 6.88 in their run to the play-offs.
Both Jordan and his Southern Brave team-mate Tymal Mills, the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with 15 scalps, had been overlooked in the original squad in a deliberate attempt to broaden the squad’s bowling options, as Jos Buttler, the white-ball captain, reiterated on the eve of the Hundred Eliminator, prior to the news of Tongue’s injury.
“The T20 squad has been picked with a view to having a look at a few other guys,” Buttler said. “That’s been communicated [to Mills and Jordan] as well. We want to try and broaden that talent pool and expose some people to international cricket to see where they’re at.
“Death bowling is obviously a big focus in short-form cricket and we want to see where certain people are at, and give them a chance. Of course, no one’s ever ruled out, but in terms of needing extra motivation, every player should always be motivated in my eyes.”