World Twenty20 2014

'We can beat anyone in the world' - Bresnan

Alan Gardner in Chittagong

March 24, 2014

Comments: 37 | Text size: A | A

Tim Bresnan gave England hope with two wickets in two balls, West Indies v England, 2nd T20, Barbados, March 11, 2014
Tim Bresnan says England need three or four players to click at the same time © AFP
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Players/Officials: Tim Bresnan
Series/Tournaments: World T20
Teams: England

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

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Posted by JG2704 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.

Posted by JG2704 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

Posted by andrew-schulz 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.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK 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?

Posted by vefa 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.

Posted by markatnotts 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!

Posted by Tambapani on (March 25, 2014, 9:14 GMT)

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

Posted by notimeforcricket 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.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 6:36 GMT)

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

Posted by xylo 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.

Posted by milepost on (March 25, 2014, 5:19 GMT)

Wait, it isn't quite April fools day yet so he actually believes this? I think we saw in Australia how bad they are and Bresnan is lucky to be in the side. The ECB is a shambles, the T20 captain loses composure and their best player, by a mile, is at home. C'mon Tim, at least wait until April first before saying stuff like this!

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (March 25, 2014, 3:51 GMT)

Height of misguided optimism typical of English.Dont think they realise how-not-good they are.:)Can take heart that Ind is touring next.Publish this time.Whats point of this blog otherwise.Its a democratic forum.Cant please all at all times.Do understand.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 3:46 GMT)

Oh let me guess, 10-0 in australia was not enough to convince them they are not good enough to beat

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 3:42 GMT)

Yes!You can do it... when? But not for this time.

Posted by Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on (March 25, 2014, 1:23 GMT)

This is so incorrect on so many levels...

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 0:33 GMT)

sounds like the BD captain lol. good luck anyway

Posted by RodStark on (March 25, 2014, 0:08 GMT)

I think this is actually reasonably true. England do have players, batsmen in particular, who can and occasionally have given a game-changing performance. But how often do Morgan, Buttler, Hales, and Lumb actually fire as compared to other teams' game chnagers?

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 23:37 GMT)

If SL win this one, they are most probably through to the semi's.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 23:29 GMT)

Not possible I'm afraid. Seems to be very little sense of adventure in the team at present.

Posted by bobmartin on (March 24, 2014, 22:03 GMT)

Sorry Tim.. but England are currently woeful.. and that's being kind. If you're lucky you might win two of the remaining games.. but your chances of getting through to the semis are about as good as a snowball surviving the midday sun at Chittagong. But credit for being the supreme optimist...

Posted by JG2704 on (March 24, 2014, 22:00 GMT)

@Scott McHugh on (March 24, 2014, 16:49 GMT) re Proof Is In The Pudding - I think Bres ate the evidence

@ahmedfaysal on (March 24, 2014, 16:48 GMT) Tredwell's done ok for us as a spinner but thanks for your kind words of encouragement

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 21:35 GMT)

England not good enough to beat Sri Lanka

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 24, 2014, 21:15 GMT)

Pressure? Mental? Not easy to hit the right area(s)? Nearly 30 years of age and so many international games under his belt, and Bresnan still tries to find excuses for England's ineptitude at bowling decent yorkers. Get into the nets guys, and start practicing! Doesn't have to be 6 attempts per over; just 1 or 2 in every 12 balls and try not to be predictable. No wonder England are losing so many games if they're spending so much time watching/analysing footage. I'm starting to feel far too much time is spent with heads buried in computers than in the nets or on the ground training/practicing. I honestly feel England will struggle to get a single win.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 20:56 GMT)

Come on bresnan , fed up with player rotation , if you beat Dutch it's winning World Cup

Posted by cloudmess on (March 24, 2014, 20:11 GMT)

I'm sorry to write this, but England have no chance of being a force in the world again while they have the present staff in charge of the national game - it's gonna be a couple of years of stasis and mediocrity, sorry folks. The only guy on their books at the moment with any backbone or vision is Collingwood and he's still relatively inexperienced. Look out for him as a potential candidate to replace Giles in 2016/early 2017.

Posted by RandyOZ on (March 24, 2014, 20:08 GMT)

Haha, always good to get a good laugh from the English. This reminds me of the articles we were getting out of England before the last Ashes series. Very funny!

Posted by steve48 on (March 24, 2014, 19:54 GMT)

I find the whole yorker issue fascinating. Should you really try to bowl a ball with such a small margin for error, especially in tight situations and with batsmen either moving down the track or going right back in their crease at the last moment? Not sure a bowler isn't better bowling different lengths and paces, wide of off stump, keeping the batsman guessing whilst having most of your fielders on one side? Obviously T20 bowling is a tough job unless the ball is moving, and a successful yorker or even low full toss is great, but has it really got the percentages going for it, other than as a surprise option?

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 18:16 GMT)

Hmm.. Sorry Bresnan, you really don't!!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 18:07 GMT)

Big 3 on pepper, not on the field, good luck against SL.

Posted by Damo_s on (March 24, 2014, 17:38 GMT)

We (England) may win a game or two but I believe that we DON'T have what it takes on these types of wickets. We have already lost to NZ, a team we really needed to beat qualify IMO, and it wouldnt surprise me if the Netherlands embarass us again. That said, by then it probably wont matter as we will already have failed to qualify no matter what the result. Our best Batsmen are a bit out of form and our current attack just isnt strong enough to compete against the top teams. Hopefully the women's team have a chance though.

Posted by wapuser on (March 24, 2014, 17:35 GMT)

Ah how things change I remember these kind of statements were given by zimbabwe or kenya once just to lift the hopes of their nation and team

Posted by CodandChips on (March 24, 2014, 17:25 GMT)

Has been woeful this year. Has been poor ever since his injury. Not sure why England continue to show so much faith in him.

Sri Lanka will not be fun, given our recent limited overs disasters vs asian countries in the subcontinent, and the fact that Sri Lanka are number 1 and just obliterated Netherlands.

Interesting that Bresnan talks about yorkers given his obsession with the short ball. I know a guy who bowls a good yorker. Graham Napier anyone?

Posted by kitten on (March 24, 2014, 17:21 GMT)

@Bresnan...'If we can find that spark and everything clicks, we can beat anyone in the world."...... This comment made me laugh........I think nearly every team would say the same if asked!! The hard truth is that England have failed time and time again, and it is getting more and more difficult to get their nose in front. They have game changers for sure, but they have to click, and so far they haven't. The other teams, or many of them , seem to have sussed them out. It is about time England played more adventurous cricket, and start taking risks. Their openers try and do that, but as soon as they fail, the others close shop, and try to block etc. They should send Butler, and Bopara higher up the order....try to make something happen, or else before they realise it, they will be out of this WC. Good luck England, give it your best shot.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 16:49 GMT)

I'm not sure what else Bresnan can say when interviewed and asked the right questions, but the proof is in the pudding. And we're going hungry.

Posted by ahmedfaysal on (March 24, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

You can beat any team but you will not beat any team. The netherlands will thrash you let alone srilanka and south africa. You don't have any quality player of spin. You don't have any quality spinner and you keep pitersen out of the team. Get ready to be humiliated.

Posted by CrICkeeet on (March 24, 2014, 16:41 GMT)

U also can lose against anyone in the world!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 16:19 GMT)

Who is stopping you? !

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India v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Apr 6, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)
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India won by 6 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 27 runs (D/L method)
Pakistan v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
West Indies won by 84 runs
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Australia won by 7 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)
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