Bresnan ruled out of warm-up match
Tim Bresnan has been ruled out of England's first warm-up game in the UAE after suffering discomfort in his right elbow. Bresnan, who currently stands 12th in the ICC Test bowler rankings, underwent surgery on the elbow just over a month ago and reported soreness in the nets on Wednesday.
As a consequence, he sat out training on Thursday and Friday and won't be risked for the match against an ICC Affiliate and Associate XI starting on Saturday. "Tim Bresnan, in particular, has still got a bit of swelling in his elbow as a reaction to his operation, so he's not quite ready yet," Andrew Strauss, the England captain, said. "We're aiming for the second warm-up game with him."
With just two warm-ups games scheduled before the Test series Bresnan's chances of proving his match fitness are receding. His absence will give either Chris Tremlett or Steven Finn an opportunity to challenge for a Test place, although Tremlett is also suffering from an eye infection which has hindered his preparation.
"[He has a bit of a sore eye at the moment, but that is nothing of great concern to us. It's just niggles more than anything," Strauss said.
Neither Tremlett or Finn offer Bresnan's prowess with the bat, however. Bresnan is currently averaging 45.42 with the bat and 23.60 with the ball and has helped England to victory in all 10 of the Tests in which he has played.
Finn, at least, believes that a month playing in New Zealand just before Christmas should have provided excellent preparation for this tour. While conditions in UAE are unlikely to provide as much assistance as Finn enjoyed in New Zealand, he believes the slow pace of the pitches in both countries will be similar.
"It was a great experience for me, and I feel like I've learned a lot from it," Finn said. "The wickets were quite slow and low, so it was good to go and get some practice on those sorts of wickets.
"It was just a good chance for me to go and do a lot of bowling. I bowled 140 overs in the four games. It was something I really wanted to do personally, and the satisfaction I got from going over there was great."