Chris Jordan hit 166 with the bat for Sussex in their County Championship draw at Northants.

The Sharks and England pace ace is best known for his bowling and Sussex will be looking to him when they return to headquarters at Hove on Monday against Glamorgan, with Jofra Archer on World Cup duty for England.

Jordan believes Sussex have the fastest bowling attack in the country with himself, Archer and Tymal Mills to call upon across all formats of the game.

Here he reveals what makes a good fast bowler, how to get even quicker and the speediest he has faced.

This is a difficult question, Chris, but what is the key to bowling as fast as yourself and Jofra? Is there a secret to it?

“That is difficult! From the time I was growing up a lot of people said a big part of it is natural. But along with that ability you have to train certain muscles in the gym to be able to improve it.

“Fast bowling is very much power based. I’d say a mixture of power and timing.

“So, I have been doing a lot of power stuff, especially in the last 18 to 24 months to try and improve my pace. A lot of Olympic lifting has helped with that.

“A lot of sprint training too, to try and fire up those fast-twitch muscle fibres to make you quicker at the crease.”

What would be the starting point for a new bowler, learning to bowl fast?

“Bio-mechanically a lot of people talk about almost picturing your bowling hand as a catapult. At delivery stride, too, you are trying to brace your front leg quite straight, not bent, so that you have a base at the crease that you can really drive through.

“For kids, I would just encourage them to enjoy it and to let go of the ball. When they go and practice, just let go - don’t worry about where it’s going. Just so you can feel what it’s like.

“Not too robotic or too mechanical, just let it go and see how fast the ball can travel. In time, as you get older, you will get more skilful and narrow down your line and length and be more accurate. But, at the start, just go for it in your own way.”

What advice did you get early in your career which stuck with you?

“For me, a lot of my pace comes from my rhythm. I was told that instead of being too robotic when you approach the crease, you want to run up as though you were in the outfield.

“You want to run up nice and natural, let your arms keep flowing, so that when you approach the crease you are very balanced - your head is balanced, and everything is balanced.

“Then you’re at that optimum level to really let it go.”

Do you think that anybody could learn to bowl quickly?

“Yes, I think anyone could do it - I believe you can do anything you put your mind to, personally. So, I do think it’s possible. But a lot of it is natural, too, and you have to want to do it - because bowling fast, day in, day out, is not easy on the body.

“Mentally you must be prepared to put in hard work. If you do that, then anyone could achieve it.”

What training do you do now?

“I’m at the stage where I just do a lot of grooving. For me it’s about making sure my wrist is in check. When I first come to bowl, I do a few bowl-throughs off only two steps.

“And I try to get it down there as quickly as possible. That locks-in everything. That’s important because you also need to warm up to prevent injuries.

“I just keep myself ticking over with some basics: make sure my head is up, make sure my wrist is behind the ball.

“You do have to find a way of keeping your basics in check.”

Who is the fastest bowler you seen bowl live?

“The fastest bowler I’ve faced is Wahab Riaz from Pakistan. I’ve faced him and Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc as well. I’ve faced quite a few. But Wahab felt the quickest.

“Every single ball was just so fast. It’s the combination of his action and the pace he lets the ball go at. Definitely the quickest I’ve seen.”

How about at Sussex?

“There’s a lot of competition! I would probably say, consistently over a long period of time, it would have to be Jofra Archer. He’s bowling consistently 145-150kmh (93mph) and very close behind him is Tymal, who lets it go at a rate as well.

“I’m not too far behind, either. Maybe when I was 17 or 18, I was letting it go as consistently as they are! But I’m just on that arc now to improving my pace again after a couple of injuries which slowed me down. I’m not far away.”

Who will be the quickest guys in the Vitality Blast when it arrives in July?

“Jofra (below), of course, because he’s that good! You’ve also got to think about Mark Wood up at Durham, Olly Stone at Warwickshire. But I can’t really look too much past our guys.

The Argus:

“I like to think we have the quickest attack in the country.”

What are your goals for the season?

“It’s a big summer but my number one goal is to stay in the moment and just have fun really - because when I do that, I play my best cricket.

“And if I play my best cricket all the rest follows. So, that’s my thought process. Just try and stay in the moment, have fun and not get too carried away with myself. When I’m doing that my performances take care of themselves and you get the accolades with it.

“Then of course at Sussex, there’s a lot to aim for, and after getting to the final of the Vitality Blast last season we’d love to win it this time.”

This interview was provided by Boundless, shirt sponsors of the Sussex Cricket Vitality Blast T20 Tournament. Headquartered in Brighton, Boundless is a membership club for civil service and public sector workers who are looking for inspiration on getting the most out of their free time.

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