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.