England news April 3, 2013

Bresnan upbeat on Ashes fitness

Alison Mitchell
16

Tim Bresnan has become the third England player in quick succession to insist that he will recover from injury in time for the Ashes series. Bresnan's optimism about his recovery from an elbow operation follows equally upbeat assurances from Graeme Swann and Kevin Pietersen with the first Test against Australia now less than 100 days away.

Bresnan's second operation on his right elbow caused him to miss the tour to New Zealand, but he is aiming to play in Yorkshire's friendly against Lancashire, beginning on April 16, and proving his fitness in championship cricket ahead of the first Test of the summer against New Zealand in mid-May.

The latest top international to chat at length on Alison's Tea Break, soon to be published exclusively on ESPNcricinfo, Bresnan admits he knew that his elbow trouble had left him down on pace for much of the previous year but was reluctant to face the consequences of another operation.

"I was lacking a little bit of pace for the last year, which was something I didn't really want to admit to myself," he said. "One day I'd bowl brisk, and the next day I'd just have nothing. I knew it was the elbow but you're in that position 'I'm still doing a job but am I doing it to the best of my ability?' And the answer to that question was probably 'no'.

"I'm actually excited now about the future, whereas, because I was bowling in a little bit of pain, it's always in the back of your mind that you're not giving it the full beans because it might hurt you."

It took a heart to heart with Graham Gooch in India for Bresnan to realise he had to speak up about his elbow pain, in order to avoid his career flatlining.

"You just can't get away with it against India. Here against the West Indies, absolutely fine, because it's swinging, bit of reverse, maybe a bit of nibble. In India: nothing. There's no hiding.

"I think the time during the first Test when Sehwag just picked me up off a good length and hit me for six, I just went: 'Wow, I'm not bowling quick enough here'. I think it was Goochie in a way who just said: 'Look mate, I can tell you're not right. I don't know what you've been saying to the medical staff but you should be at a place now where you're approaching your peak but you've just levelled off a bit'.''

Now that he's looking to make a comeback in the England side, Bresnan explains what sort of bowler he wants to be, why he can be more than the dependable workhorse in the side, and what it is that is motivating him.

"I've only got six or seven five-fors. You never put me down for a truck load of wickets but stick me down for three an innings, which in anyone's money is solid going. But if I want to be remembered as a cricketer, I was erring towards the stage where I was like, I don't really want it to be that, I want it to be like: 'He can win you games'."

Bresnan also takes a tongue-in-cheek 'Yorkshire Test' to see just how close to his roots he has remained, despite the global jet-setting life of an international cricketer. The results may be a little surprising.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jmcilhinney on April 4, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    Given that Swann reckons he'll be fit in time and Bresnan's operation was earlier, you'd think that his prediction is based on more than just optimism. Of course, it depends on the nature of the original damage too. Bresnan has his fair share of detractors and most point to his loss of form as evidence that he's just not that good but that loss of form was obviously due to injury, at least in part. If he can get back to where he was physically then there's no reason to believe that he won't get back to where he was as a bowler. His early stats may have flattered him a little but it's just stupid to say that his recent stats are more indicative of his real ability when two elbow operations prove that there was a physiological cause. Obviously a lot depends on whether the second operation was a complete success, because even a partial physical improvement may not be enough to get him past the threshold where he will become a dangerous international bowler again

  • zenboomerang on April 4, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    Glad to see Tim sounding positive - now needs to get back onto the paddock & put the hard yards in to see if he's recovered fully before higher honors...

    Be very interested in the return NZ Tests in Eng to see where the Eng bowlers (& batters) are at in home conditions & whether there still is some complacency amoung your team - or if the coach has learnt something from recent series & push a few players to lift their games a bit...

  • CricketingStargazer on April 3, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    Tim Bresnan is the workhorse bowler who keeps things tight and bowls a lot of overs with the old ball. However, he is not fast enough, as he saw early in his England career, to do nothing with the ball. In India the zip was gone, as was the reverse swing. If he can get that zip back he still has an important job to do. As @Mitty2 has pointed out, having two slightly wayward bowlers together is a bit of a luxury; England need a reliable seamer to back up Anderson plus someone to act as aggresor. I was very disappointed with Steve Finn in New Zealand. He is still a work in progress in Tests and I hope that he is allowed to play as many Championship games as possible to get into the groove. Stuart Broad also need a good number of overs behind him in the Championship before playing the Tests.

    If Tim Bresnan can show that this time he is really properly patched up and playing at his best he is worth a go, but he really needs to do plenty of bowling first. If not, it's time to try TRJ.

  • whoster on April 3, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    If Bresnan returns fully-fit from his operation, and is consistently bowling well and at good pace, it'll add some much-needed depth to England's attack. With Tremlett also returning from injury, it'll be interesting to see how he'll progress too. Bresnan was struggling to get above 130kph at times in India, and with such little help from the pitches, looked distinctly mediocre. If Bresnan returns to being the bowler of two years ago, he must come into the reckoning for The Ashes. I also seriously wonder whether England should consider five bowlers against The Aussies. Broad, Bresnan and Swann can all bat - and if they're all fit and bowling well, there's enough batting there to elevate Prior to 6, and have four pace bowlers plus Swann to put more pressure on an inexperienced Aussie line up. Root's done pretty well at no.6, but still has some way to go in developing into a Test batsman who can do more than defend resolutely.

  • on April 5, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    4 bowlers would do fine for Engalnd, if they can have a fully fit Tremlett bowling with Andersen. Make the wicket a turner, take Swann & Panesar as well, leave out Finn, Broad and Bresnan. Then England could take the series 5-0.

  • Dashgar on April 4, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    @Skilebow, I hope that's England's philosophy. India got Australia by bowling in combinations. Not letting up pressure at any point. If Broad and Bresnan can't keep the pressure on then the Aussies will gain confidence and we know they have talent in familiar conditions. If guys like Warner and Hughes get away then England will be in for a long tour. It's all about building pressure to take down these Aussies.

  • JG2704 on April 4, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    @SirViv1973 - But we've looked far less penetrating with 4 bowlers in the last year or so , so would that (along with t injuries to bowlers) not increase the pros for a 5/1/5? Also we've still not found a solid number 6.Root may be that man.If not do we go round in circles in search of that reliable number 6 batsman. Why not try Prior at 6 and Woakes at 7?Last season Woakes averaged better than all the likely no 6s with the bat and in a higher division than 3 of those names , so would you even be losing anything batting wise by doing this? Maybe you're genuinely happy with the way we've performed in tests since India , but I'd have expected us to win in SL and NZ , at least draw in UAE and hoped we'd at least draw vs SA. India was a great result but that was due to our spin attack who will rarely come into play in Eng and Aus Surely we want to win tests and not draw them and with shortened tests likely as ever in England there's more chance of forcing results

  • skilebow on April 4, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    @Dashgar - You seem to forget that Aus batting line up is so weak that they may only need 2 bowlers to go through it! But yes fast bowling is a conern for Eng. Should be an interestibg series - Strong Eng batting vs Strong Aus bowling and Weak Eng bowling vs Weak Aus batting

  • Dashgar on April 4, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    The New Zealand series showed that England are in some serious need of support for Anderson and Swann. Bresnan had a good ashes a few years ago but since then has been mediocre at best. He and Broad will be exposed by Australia (who will not struggle like they did in India), so unless Tremlett is fully fit England will have problems. And if the England Lions tour of Australia is anything to go by the young guys coming through are pretty useless as well. Maybe they'll go back to Darren Pattinson, he's been in good form.

  • SirViv1973 on April 3, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    @Whoster, the 5 bowler debate has been raging on these pages for sometime. 18 months ago I would have been open to the idea when both Broad & Bresnan were scoring runs & both had an ave in the 30s. I think the problem now is that neither have contributed much with the bat over the past yr or so. It's also worth bearing in mind both are now coming back from major injury & will no doubt want to concentrate on their main discipline of bowling for now at least. I Just wouldn't feel comfortable with either batting at 7 right now. The one option might be to bring in Woakes at 7, but I don't think back to back ashes series are the right place to experiment with such a move. Root has shown enough in his short int career to suggest he may have what it takes to nail down the 6 spot & I see the selectors sticking with him for the time being. I think we will have to continue with the 4 bowlers & Bresnan at his best would be a good option to have.

  • jmcilhinney on April 4, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    Given that Swann reckons he'll be fit in time and Bresnan's operation was earlier, you'd think that his prediction is based on more than just optimism. Of course, it depends on the nature of the original damage too. Bresnan has his fair share of detractors and most point to his loss of form as evidence that he's just not that good but that loss of form was obviously due to injury, at least in part. If he can get back to where he was physically then there's no reason to believe that he won't get back to where he was as a bowler. His early stats may have flattered him a little but it's just stupid to say that his recent stats are more indicative of his real ability when two elbow operations prove that there was a physiological cause. Obviously a lot depends on whether the second operation was a complete success, because even a partial physical improvement may not be enough to get him past the threshold where he will become a dangerous international bowler again

  • zenboomerang on April 4, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    Glad to see Tim sounding positive - now needs to get back onto the paddock & put the hard yards in to see if he's recovered fully before higher honors...

    Be very interested in the return NZ Tests in Eng to see where the Eng bowlers (& batters) are at in home conditions & whether there still is some complacency amoung your team - or if the coach has learnt something from recent series & push a few players to lift their games a bit...

  • CricketingStargazer on April 3, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    Tim Bresnan is the workhorse bowler who keeps things tight and bowls a lot of overs with the old ball. However, he is not fast enough, as he saw early in his England career, to do nothing with the ball. In India the zip was gone, as was the reverse swing. If he can get that zip back he still has an important job to do. As @Mitty2 has pointed out, having two slightly wayward bowlers together is a bit of a luxury; England need a reliable seamer to back up Anderson plus someone to act as aggresor. I was very disappointed with Steve Finn in New Zealand. He is still a work in progress in Tests and I hope that he is allowed to play as many Championship games as possible to get into the groove. Stuart Broad also need a good number of overs behind him in the Championship before playing the Tests.

    If Tim Bresnan can show that this time he is really properly patched up and playing at his best he is worth a go, but he really needs to do plenty of bowling first. If not, it's time to try TRJ.

  • whoster on April 3, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    If Bresnan returns fully-fit from his operation, and is consistently bowling well and at good pace, it'll add some much-needed depth to England's attack. With Tremlett also returning from injury, it'll be interesting to see how he'll progress too. Bresnan was struggling to get above 130kph at times in India, and with such little help from the pitches, looked distinctly mediocre. If Bresnan returns to being the bowler of two years ago, he must come into the reckoning for The Ashes. I also seriously wonder whether England should consider five bowlers against The Aussies. Broad, Bresnan and Swann can all bat - and if they're all fit and bowling well, there's enough batting there to elevate Prior to 6, and have four pace bowlers plus Swann to put more pressure on an inexperienced Aussie line up. Root's done pretty well at no.6, but still has some way to go in developing into a Test batsman who can do more than defend resolutely.

  • on April 5, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    4 bowlers would do fine for Engalnd, if they can have a fully fit Tremlett bowling with Andersen. Make the wicket a turner, take Swann & Panesar as well, leave out Finn, Broad and Bresnan. Then England could take the series 5-0.

  • Dashgar on April 4, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    @Skilebow, I hope that's England's philosophy. India got Australia by bowling in combinations. Not letting up pressure at any point. If Broad and Bresnan can't keep the pressure on then the Aussies will gain confidence and we know they have talent in familiar conditions. If guys like Warner and Hughes get away then England will be in for a long tour. It's all about building pressure to take down these Aussies.

  • JG2704 on April 4, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    @SirViv1973 - But we've looked far less penetrating with 4 bowlers in the last year or so , so would that (along with t injuries to bowlers) not increase the pros for a 5/1/5? Also we've still not found a solid number 6.Root may be that man.If not do we go round in circles in search of that reliable number 6 batsman. Why not try Prior at 6 and Woakes at 7?Last season Woakes averaged better than all the likely no 6s with the bat and in a higher division than 3 of those names , so would you even be losing anything batting wise by doing this? Maybe you're genuinely happy with the way we've performed in tests since India , but I'd have expected us to win in SL and NZ , at least draw in UAE and hoped we'd at least draw vs SA. India was a great result but that was due to our spin attack who will rarely come into play in Eng and Aus Surely we want to win tests and not draw them and with shortened tests likely as ever in England there's more chance of forcing results

  • skilebow on April 4, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    @Dashgar - You seem to forget that Aus batting line up is so weak that they may only need 2 bowlers to go through it! But yes fast bowling is a conern for Eng. Should be an interestibg series - Strong Eng batting vs Strong Aus bowling and Weak Eng bowling vs Weak Aus batting

  • Dashgar on April 4, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    The New Zealand series showed that England are in some serious need of support for Anderson and Swann. Bresnan had a good ashes a few years ago but since then has been mediocre at best. He and Broad will be exposed by Australia (who will not struggle like they did in India), so unless Tremlett is fully fit England will have problems. And if the England Lions tour of Australia is anything to go by the young guys coming through are pretty useless as well. Maybe they'll go back to Darren Pattinson, he's been in good form.

  • SirViv1973 on April 3, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    @Whoster, the 5 bowler debate has been raging on these pages for sometime. 18 months ago I would have been open to the idea when both Broad & Bresnan were scoring runs & both had an ave in the 30s. I think the problem now is that neither have contributed much with the bat over the past yr or so. It's also worth bearing in mind both are now coming back from major injury & will no doubt want to concentrate on their main discipline of bowling for now at least. I Just wouldn't feel comfortable with either batting at 7 right now. The one option might be to bring in Woakes at 7, but I don't think back to back ashes series are the right place to experiment with such a move. Root has shown enough in his short int career to suggest he may have what it takes to nail down the 6 spot & I see the selectors sticking with him for the time being. I think we will have to continue with the 4 bowlers & Bresnan at his best would be a good option to have.

  • CricketingStargazer on April 3, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    @Big_Maxy_Walker He missed most of last season after another operation. He played some Second XI games, a few limited overs matches and, I believe, one Championship match at the end of the season. Basically he is feeling his way back carefully, but it looks like he will be able to play in the Championship from the start.

  • bumsonseats on April 3, 2013, 18:12 GMT

    sam. bresnan will get back in when hes bowling like he used to bowl in the last ashes series. his place is not guaranteed . if tremlett is back to his best and after a good run out of 3/4, 4 day games then he will come back if selected now that would be mouthwatering and a match of any of the aussie quicks,

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on April 3, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    whatever happened to tremlett? He was going well against the aussies and now bresnans always in the team

  • SDHM on April 3, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    Basically, the fact he may well walk back into the England set-up is what is wrong with the England set-up at the moment, if I'm nitpicking. Bresnan should have to prove himself in county cricket - prove that he has regained his pace and cutting edge - rather than just coming back in. Same with Tremlett. The reason England lack depth at the moment is because they treated the likes of Bresnan as undroppable even when it became clear he was nowhere near the bowler he was before his injury instead of looking at a younger talent - if he walks back in now, they'll just be repeating the same mistakes.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 3, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    He's an Ashes hero and one of those England players that beat Australia just for fun these days, but after his shoulder op Bres has not been the same. Sorry Tim, but you need a good long spell in county cricket (the best first class system in the world) if you're to have any chance of getting back into the England side.

  • Mitty2 on April 3, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    A change in the attack is an absolute necessity for England. After watching a large amount of the NZ series I realized two things about the English attack (ignoring not having swann): like MJ and starc; broad and Finn should NEVER be in the same attack; potential to be very damaging, but overall inconsistent and generally wayward. The other thing I saw was a need for a 'workhorse' quick. On the non-assisting tracks the spells between the quicks were never long and they all rotated in and out. Most importantly, a workhorse quick who's accurate is the best supplement to anderson's strike bowling. After having both morkel and steyn, SA were always alright but never worldbeating, but as soon as philander came in...

    To be successful, you need a good combination (of variety) in the opening attack and a bowler who perfectly compliments the strike bowler.. Philander! Ignoring his failures against india and SA, from what I've seen, Bresnan (not tremlett) has the potential to do this.

  • Mitty2 on April 3, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    A change in the attack is an absolute necessity for England. After watching a large amount of the NZ series I realized two things about the English attack (ignoring not having swann): like MJ and starc; broad and Finn should NEVER be in the same attack; potential to be very damaging, but overall inconsistent and generally wayward. The other thing I saw was a need for a 'workhorse' quick. On the non-assisting tracks the spells between the quicks were never long and they all rotated in and out. Most importantly, a workhorse quick who's accurate is the best supplement to anderson's strike bowling. After having both morkel and steyn, SA were always alright but never worldbeating, but as soon as philander came in...

    To be successful, you need a good combination (of variety) in the opening attack and a bowler who perfectly compliments the strike bowler.. Philander! Ignoring his failures against india and SA, from what I've seen, Bresnan (not tremlett) has the potential to do this.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 3, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    He's an Ashes hero and one of those England players that beat Australia just for fun these days, but after his shoulder op Bres has not been the same. Sorry Tim, but you need a good long spell in county cricket (the best first class system in the world) if you're to have any chance of getting back into the England side.

  • SDHM on April 3, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    Basically, the fact he may well walk back into the England set-up is what is wrong with the England set-up at the moment, if I'm nitpicking. Bresnan should have to prove himself in county cricket - prove that he has regained his pace and cutting edge - rather than just coming back in. Same with Tremlett. The reason England lack depth at the moment is because they treated the likes of Bresnan as undroppable even when it became clear he was nowhere near the bowler he was before his injury instead of looking at a younger talent - if he walks back in now, they'll just be repeating the same mistakes.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on April 3, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    whatever happened to tremlett? He was going well against the aussies and now bresnans always in the team

  • bumsonseats on April 3, 2013, 18:12 GMT

    sam. bresnan will get back in when hes bowling like he used to bowl in the last ashes series. his place is not guaranteed . if tremlett is back to his best and after a good run out of 3/4, 4 day games then he will come back if selected now that would be mouthwatering and a match of any of the aussie quicks,

  • CricketingStargazer on April 3, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    @Big_Maxy_Walker He missed most of last season after another operation. He played some Second XI games, a few limited overs matches and, I believe, one Championship match at the end of the season. Basically he is feeling his way back carefully, but it looks like he will be able to play in the Championship from the start.

  • SirViv1973 on April 3, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    @Whoster, the 5 bowler debate has been raging on these pages for sometime. 18 months ago I would have been open to the idea when both Broad & Bresnan were scoring runs & both had an ave in the 30s. I think the problem now is that neither have contributed much with the bat over the past yr or so. It's also worth bearing in mind both are now coming back from major injury & will no doubt want to concentrate on their main discipline of bowling for now at least. I Just wouldn't feel comfortable with either batting at 7 right now. The one option might be to bring in Woakes at 7, but I don't think back to back ashes series are the right place to experiment with such a move. Root has shown enough in his short int career to suggest he may have what it takes to nail down the 6 spot & I see the selectors sticking with him for the time being. I think we will have to continue with the 4 bowlers & Bresnan at his best would be a good option to have.

  • Dashgar on April 4, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    The New Zealand series showed that England are in some serious need of support for Anderson and Swann. Bresnan had a good ashes a few years ago but since then has been mediocre at best. He and Broad will be exposed by Australia (who will not struggle like they did in India), so unless Tremlett is fully fit England will have problems. And if the England Lions tour of Australia is anything to go by the young guys coming through are pretty useless as well. Maybe they'll go back to Darren Pattinson, he's been in good form.

  • skilebow on April 4, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    @Dashgar - You seem to forget that Aus batting line up is so weak that they may only need 2 bowlers to go through it! But yes fast bowling is a conern for Eng. Should be an interestibg series - Strong Eng batting vs Strong Aus bowling and Weak Eng bowling vs Weak Aus batting

  • JG2704 on April 4, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    @SirViv1973 - But we've looked far less penetrating with 4 bowlers in the last year or so , so would that (along with t injuries to bowlers) not increase the pros for a 5/1/5? Also we've still not found a solid number 6.Root may be that man.If not do we go round in circles in search of that reliable number 6 batsman. Why not try Prior at 6 and Woakes at 7?Last season Woakes averaged better than all the likely no 6s with the bat and in a higher division than 3 of those names , so would you even be losing anything batting wise by doing this? Maybe you're genuinely happy with the way we've performed in tests since India , but I'd have expected us to win in SL and NZ , at least draw in UAE and hoped we'd at least draw vs SA. India was a great result but that was due to our spin attack who will rarely come into play in Eng and Aus Surely we want to win tests and not draw them and with shortened tests likely as ever in England there's more chance of forcing results