World Twenty20 2014 March 24, 2014

'We can beat anyone in the world' - Bresnan


There was a time when Tim Bresnan was considered a lucky mascot for England. He tasted victory in each of his first 13 Tests - a record only bettered by Adam Gilchrist - and picked up a winner's medal at his first major tournament when England won the 2010 World T20 in the Caribbean.

The last couple of years have not been quite so rosy, as injuries interrupted his progression and then England entered a tailspin almost as soon as they touched down in Australia. He began that tour recovering from a back injury, missing the first two Tests, but alongside Stuart Broad he has been practically everywhere with England across three continents over the last five months.

Reliable as Yorkshire tea, Bresnan is still one of the players England can wheel out to provide some pithy wisdom when the chips are down. They have endured a horrendous run, losing 17 matches out of 21 in all formats, but Bresnan is the sort of man who can say England believe they can win three in a row if they need to at the World T20 and sound like he means it.

"We're still confident," he said. "Things haven't gone our way over the last few months but we still believe we're playing good cricket, turning out good performances. But stringing together everything at the same time is a problem for us. If we can find that spark and everything clicks, we can beat anyone in the world."

"A couple of lads have been having good games, but you need three or four players to influence games and get you the win. We haven't really been able to do that."

England's next game is against Sri Lanka, who have won two from two and are one of the favourites for the title. There were some encouraging signs against New Zealand before rain - fractionally after the thunder and lightning - saw England end up on the wrong side of the Duckworth-Lewis equation again. The squad have been playing together for the last month, having toured the West Indies in preparation for the tournament, and Bresnan thinks they are not far from clicking.

"It's more of a mindset is T20. We certainly have the power players, we have everything in the armoury to win games of cricket," Bresnan said. "We just can't put our finger on why we've not been able to piece together a good performance.

"We've been playing six weeks of T20. It's been good, we've gelled as a team. I think we're still confident in the dressing-room despite not winning many games. I think we all realise we need that win to kick us off - and we'll be off and running."

Much has been made of England's regeneration and Bresnan put as positive a spin as possible on their travails over the winter. "They say winning hides a multitude of sins and it can do that in your own performance as well as the team's. It's only when you lose, that's only when you analyse in-depth stuff that has actually gone wrong or stuff that might have been going wrong for a while."

Questions have been asked of England's skills in this format, which appear to have slipped as players from other countries hone their abilities in the more high-octane franchise leagues around the globe. Their somewhat frantic attempts to clear the ropes in the opening game against New Zealand were a partial success, with England recording the highest T20 score on the ground, but it still lacked one batsman stamping an indelible mark with a sizeable innings.

"I don't think that is the case," Bresnan said, when asked if England were falling behind. "I still believe we're doing the right things. We're always analysing the footage of the good sides and seeing what the other lads are doing. It's not necessarily trying to emulate them, it's trying to put our own twist on a winning formula. We're looking to do that over the course of the next three games."

Although the bowlers did not get much of an outing on Saturday, they will be under just as much scrutiny as the batsmen against Sri Lanka. A video compilation called 'When Yorkers Go Wrong' is surely waiting to be compiled and uploaded to YouTube but Bresnan is confident the delivery can be an important tool for England, even if bowlers are often accused of forgetting how to bowl them.

"Yorker is the ball if you can get it right. As we've seen if you get it wrong it can disappear or go for an inside edge for four," he said. "You have to practice but it is more mental than anything. It is a difficult ball to bowl when the pressure is on. You're aiming at a four-inch square in front of the stumps and it's not very easy to hit. I feel as though it is one of my biggest weapons and the more I can get it right, the more successful we will be."

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on March 26, 2014, 10:57 GMT

    @andrew-schulz on (March 26, 2014, 6:42 GMT) No - RUForreal is spot on here. Never once in the last few years have I seen him post anything which could be construde as chest beating or non constructive slating of another side.

    He - among others - gave Australia plenty of praise during their recent resurgence which may well continue. He is basically responding to a poster who has consistently trolled our threads posting factless anti England rubbish whether we are in good form or in the doeldrums and one who consistently goes into hiding when his own side is in strife which I'd say is the opposite of R_U_4_REAL_NICK. You only need to read his other comment on this thread which typifies his honesty about where England are at the moment.

  • John on March 26, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    @steve48 - Hello - Obviously it's subjective but the problem is that it seems to me that most of out shorter length balls/variations are getting punished anyway so if we get our lengths slightly wrong on a yorker than it goes for boundary just like our length/variations/short pitch stuff is going for anyway. Vs WI in one of the ODIs Bres was bowling at the last pair and continually (almost obsessively) bowled back of a length at them and was continually getting clobbered. He then bowled one yorker and it was game over. As it was we were in a situation where even we would find it hard to lose but had the game situation been different we'd have lost.If our plans were working most of the time fair enough but they're not As a Somerset fan I've heard Thomas say about the importance of varying his deliveries but he has not been as consistent in the last couple of years and coincidentally I've noticed less yorkers from him. For me there are still alot less scoring options off a yorker

  • andrews on March 26, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    What goes around comes around, areuforrealnick? Just that it doesn't come around very often for England. Australia sunk to a low in losing 2 Test series heavily last year. The difference is it was a rarity, whereas for England it is a common occurrence. Australia will never lose all 3 forms of the game on any tour anywhere as badly as England has just done. And even as Australia sunk to its shocker of a 4-0 loss in India, England, reliable as ever, we're putting in an even worse performance in NZ, saved by rain from a heavy loss. Don't try to compare the performances of the two, not at this tournament either. It's an argument you.cannot win.

  • Nicholas on March 25, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    @RandyOZ (post on March 24, 2014, 20:08 GMT): Yes, reminds me of a lot of similarly amusing articles from the Australians just before The Ashes in England and the tour to India. Talking the talk, but couldn't walk the walk. What goes around, comes around. Any high hopes for your team this tournament?

  • Stiyx on March 25, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    they did really bad with KP. Show respect to ur stars. By the way where is kieswetter. He won the final of t20wc 2010 for england.

  • Mark on March 25, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    Usual emotional drivel in display here, particularly from ahmed faysal. It is almost as if they expect players in out of form teams to just say we are going to lose all our games!

  • Omar on March 25, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    Reliable as Yorkshire tea ,yes, but not as strong as Ceylon tea!

  • j on March 25, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    Unfortunately England do not have what it takes. I understand the need to swap a couple of players here and there but if you look at SA, Steyn, De Villiers, Du Plessis, Amla, Morkel, Duminy Tahir and De Quok are regular or fring players in the test team. Sure, they trade in a couple of all-rounders for test specialists . As out guys have not generally gone to the IPL, the only people who have scored runs n the subcontinent are the test players. By all means play Butler (although he might yet make it to the test team now anyway) and swap 3 or 4 players for people better suited to T20 but ultimately you still have to be able to score runs off international bowlers.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2014, 6:36 GMT

    Based on how this tournament so far has gone, I am seeing a Pakistan Vs India FINAL.

  • Vikram on March 25, 2014, 6:17 GMT

    remember KP anyone? I wonder who is going to be the scapegoat at the end of this tournament.

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