England news April 3, 2013

Bresnan upbeat on Ashes fitness

Alison Mitchell

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

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Tim 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.

  • John 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

  • Ski 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

  • Tim 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.

  • Dean 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.

  • Mark 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.

  • david 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,