ICC World Twenty20 2010 May 11, 2010

Bullish Bresnan promises more to come

Few players have done more to advance their international ambitions in the last six months than Tim Bresnan. From being a bit-part player whose main chances came through injury or squad rotation he is now a key member in both forms of one-day cricket and produced a Man-of-the-Match display against New Zealand in St Lucia.

His miserly spell of 1 for 20 was a key reason why New Zealand couldn't escape England's clutches on a slow pitch. He began with three overs for 15, including the wicket of Jesse Ryder, and returned to bowl a superb final over. Then, with Eoin Morgan needing someone to stay with him towards the end of the chase Bresnan struck a calm 23 from 11 balls which carried England over the line with five balls to spare.

When Bresnan made his Test debut against West Indies last summer he was only keeping the place warm for Andrew Flintoff and he duly moved aside for the Ashes. His evolution really started in the Champions Trophy when he hit 80 against Australia in the semi-final and he impressed in the one-day series against Bangladesh. Following an injury call-up to replace Graham Onions he was the most impressive quick in the Test series and scored a crucial 91 in Dhaka. After continuing his form in West Indies he feels there is still more to come.

"I do believe I've still got a little bit more in the tank, a little bit more of me that I can show you," he said. "You're probably going to be surprised again, like you were, a few months ago, in Bangladesh . But I've known myself I've always had that ability, and you're going to see something a little bit more special yet. I've always had these performances in the tank; you're actually starting to see them come out of me now."

If a feeling persists that he could still be taken apart by a batsman in full flight then that can be said of any bowler in this tournament. Bresnan has shown is adaptability in this event, switching from back-of-a-length to yorker bowling and also subtle changes of pace as with the delivery to remove Ryder.

"I think the first over is almost easier than bowling the third or fourth," he said. "If you bowl it where you want to - back of a length and straight - with a little bit of variation, especially if it swings as well, the batsmen are just going to have a little bit of a look at you.

"By the third or fourth over, that is when the batter really starts to try to cash in. That's when you've got to use your skill and nous to do something different, and keep them guessing."

The faith shown in Bresnan by Andy Flower is similar to the belief that Duncan Fletcher had in another Yorkshire allrounder, Craig White, when many didn't think he was up to international standard. Bresnan now finds himself in the No. 7 position ahead of the Michael Yardy, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad.

"I'm feeling very, very relaxed in my role and I'm enjoying the responsibility of bowling the first and last over and batting at seven - a 'finishing' position," he said. "Everyone's really excited with where we're heading for the future. We're getting better every day, and it's fantastic to be a part of it."

Most of the England squad have produced a crucial performance at some stage of the tournament with captain Paul Collingwood the only one who has really struggled to make an impact. That is a significant development in the side that used to rest heavily on a few players in one-day cricket and Monday's win against New Zealand was also completed without Kevin Pietersen.

"On this trip so far, 75% of the lads have had a match-winning performance," Bresnan said. "The rest of the lads that haven't done something spectacular are saving it for the semis and the final.

"Any one of us can do it. That is the belief we've got, to take this competition right to the final. We're not finished yet. We don't want to be the team that gets to the semis and says 'that's a pretty good effort'. We've actually come to win this thing."

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    Well the last time we saw Tim Bresnan play against Sri Lanka was at Heddingly when he looked and bowled like a school boy playing against professional cricketers. One year has not made much of a difference worth talking about. Why does'nt he bowl first and then talk. England always talk a good game and then give excuses for shoddy performances.

    I say let the best team win on the day. We support cricket and not individuals. Sri Lanka are a formidable team and will be hard to beat.

  • Ranga on May 12, 2010, 20:55 GMT

    His average 12.5 runs and 4 wickets in 10 matches. We will see what he is holding back tomorrow.

  • Fahad on May 12, 2010, 18:58 GMT

    England are my personal favorites to win this tourney! they just got the perfect combination with KP as the experienced and key player in the batting and very good Morgan in the middle order also with handy bowling option like Yardy, Swann and Bresnan they might just sneak into the finale showdown and win there first major trophy... also Paul skipper and Andy coach makes a perfect combination to lead the side!

    Srilanka,,, being an asian i really love the way they play there cricket! Mahela Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Dilshan, Jayasuriya, Mathews, Randiv, Lasith Malinga and Mendis are all match winners and they just seem to be a perfect bunch of team players! The way they've won against India, all they got is momentum and high morale... So expect it to be the 3rd best match of the tourney! (1st being Pakistan losing to New zealand by 1 run 2nd being Srilanka winning by hitting a six of the last ball when they needed 3 against India)

  • Vinushgar on May 12, 2010, 15:21 GMT

    sl shud let dilshan open in the semis

  • Altumash on May 12, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    england still havent got it in them, they still dont have the big match day occasion about them, good luck next time it just a matter of time b4 they bow out, this world cup is going to be decided in the 2nd semi-final who ever wins the aussie-pak match will be champions and at the moment it looks like the aussie juggernaut will be crowned, however pakistan have a history of defying the odds.

  • Dummy4 on May 12, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    England looks good as unit...but srilanka is tough to beat in the semis .

  • No featured comments at the moment.