England v WI, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, 4th day May 28, 2012

Bresnan stats rival England greats

ESPNcricinfo staff

Tim Bresnan collected his first man-of-the-match award in Test cricket after England's series-clinching victory at Trent Bridge extended his 100 per cent record in Tests to 13 and drew attention to a statistical record that bears comparison with the most distinguished allrounders in England's Test history.

As he took the award, he made light of the fact that, for all his unblemished Test record, he remains one of England's most unsung performers. Even while he assembled a match return of 8 for 141 against West Indies, and added a stalwart 39 with the bat at a vital stage of the game for good measure, his selection ahead of Steve Finn was being openly debated.

"Every time you play you always have someone over your shoulder," Bresnan said on Sky TV. "I just want to continue to improve and to make a difference on the field. We have a fantastic crop of seam bowlers and it is great that the competition helps you perform."

One of the most startling facts about Bresnan is that his allround record is now markedly superior - albeit in a much shorter period of time - to England's most celebrated allrounder of the past 25 years, Andrew Flintoff.

Bresnan's Test bowling average is 25.46 compared to Flintoff's 32.78 and his batting average is now 40.22, well above Flintoff's 32.78.

He even measures up statistically against no lesser figure than Ian Botham, who returned a batting average of 33.54 and bowling average of 28.40.

David Saker, England's bowling coach, said: "I have always been really impressed by him every time he plays for us. He always contributes in some way. He is a great person for our group. He is a likeable lad and you know what you are going to get."

Saker acknowledged that England will give serious consideration to resting a pace bowler, most probably James Anderson in the final Test at Edgbaston, which begins next Thursday.

"If there is an opportunity that comes up we may do it," he said. "We are very mindful of it but they are very proud cricketers and they don't want to give up a spot to someone else. It is a massive luxury to have two great bowlers such as Steve Finn and Graham Onions on the sidelines and we also have Chris Tremlett coming back from injury."

Andrew Strauss, who like Marlon Samuels must have been in contention for the man-of-the-match award, also has a 100 per cent record - he has won every home series as England captain.

"We are going to have to take stock and see how the bowlers are feeling, how fresh they are, and then make a decision what the best side is," he said. "There is obviously some benefit in having a look at some other bowlers but that doesn't mean we are going to do it. It depends on how our other bowlers are feeling. Firsts and foremost we want to win the Test match"

Darren Sammy, West Indies' captain, was left to lament the usual failings. "We have to be more focused and put a higher price on our wickets. We did really well to get ourselves back in the game. The bowlers fought back and we have to appreciate what they do.

"It has been affecting us in the past year. We still managed to keep ourselves in the game but we are playing like this and we are not learning. Something has to be done. Coach Gibson has only been here for less than three years. We have been like this for 15 years. The supporters have been patient for a long time."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Matt on May 31, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    A much better player than Botham, who really is overrated. That guy never really did anything good for England.

  • Mark on May 31, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    Well, I guess that the comments a few months ago after the shared series with NZ that Australia had the best young attack in the world may also fall into this category! The trouble is that Australia's young bowlers seem no so much injury prone as injury plagued and the team rarely plays the same attack for consecutive Tests, let alone consecutive series. We are now back to almost the same attack that was comprehensively humilliated in the 2010 Ashes! Everyone lions-up their bowlers, sometimes on the basis of extremely slim evidence. Bresnan's case is interesting that he is effective and, as Randy shows, not respected, which may be what imakes him so effective: you take silly liberties with bowlers who you do not respect, whereas the ones that you fear are played more circumspectly. Certainly, one or two of Tim Bresnan's wickets in the last Test were due to playing the bowler, not the bowling.

  • Nicholas on May 30, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    @RandyOZ: every country is the same! Just last year India were claiming Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan were the best opening bowling pair in the world after only a few games against one or two teams at home. Shortly after that, I don't think Sharma picked up another wicket ever and was dropped; I like Zaheer Khan but the poor guy spent much of his time limping off the field and subsequently absent injured. Doesn't Australia do the same? Where are all these 'magical quick bowlers' and 'mystery spinners' promised to the world? Dropped like Nathan Hauritz?

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    Well, I for one rate Bres quite highly... Everyone that needs confirmation of his ability with a greater sample of matches against different sides... well, perhaps you should just watch him bowl? He is one of the best, if not the best old ball bowlers getting around, making him the perfect foil for Anderson and Broad who bring other values to the table. His batting though, I don't think will average anymore than 30 over the long term, but who knows....... Of course Watto is averaging 37 with bat and 28 with the ball, just lacking the 100 wickets. If you bought the qualification down to 50 wickets you'd see quite a few more entries into the list..... Then of course you have Kallis! And of course let's big it up for Jimmy Pattinson, 30 with the bat and 18 with the ball, take that Brezzers!!

  • Randolph on May 30, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    The English press really is laughable. After decades in the doldrums they even start talking up players like Bresnan, with only 13 games to his name. They really are embarassing but I suppose if it gets Bresnan and OBE like it did Vaughan he wont be complaining!

  • Randolph on May 30, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Haha no wonder the author hasn't put his name to this article; it is clearly a big joke! @5wombats, @landl - welcome back mates - missed you over the Pakistan series!

  • GNANASEKAR on May 30, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    I strongly believe that Bresnan will break records in near future and will overcome Kallis. He has the potential to move forward England as the no. 1 team atleast for a decade. He has played 13 test matches which is huge in numbers. He has done a lot for the English team and we look forward for his more contributions.

  • John on May 29, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    @AKS286 on (May 29 2012, 04:32 AM GMT) For once I'm going to pretty much agree with you - only I'd just slide everyone up one place in the order so Prior bats where JB is now.

  • John on May 29, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 on (May 29 2012, 01:48 AM GMT) So by some people'slogic we can say that we only lost in UAE because Bres was not there.

  • John on May 29, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    @Meety on (May 29 2012, 05:41 AM GMT) Even before the start of this series I was surprised at Bres's stats. He just seems to put in solid performances all the time. I'd also say Broad has come on a hell of a lot in the last year. However I'd say your guys will be much tougher next time too

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