Tim Bresnan has been called up to the England squad after an ankle injury ruled Ajmal Shahzad out of the first Test against Pakistan at Trent Bridge. It had been a foot injury to Bresnan that helped Shahzad make his Test debut against Bangladesh last month, during which he impressed with his pace and reverse-swing.
Shahzad's ankle problem has sidelined him for a week and he could be back as soon as the second Test at Edgbaston. He had previously suffered a hamstring strain during the third ODI against Bangladesh.
"After twisting his left ankle with Yorkshire over a week ago Ajmal went on to successfully play in a Clydesdale Bank 40 match for his county last Monday," ECB chief medical officer, Nick Peirce, said. "Unfortunately Ajmal felt some discomfort following England practice at the NCPC [National Cricket Performance Centre] on Tuesday and as a precautionary measure it is felt he is best to undergo rehabilitation on the ankle for the remainder of this week."
Shahzad's Yorkshire team-mate Bresnan had a solid tour of Bangladesh earlier this year but was a let-down when given the new ball at Lord's earlier this season. With fast bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn already in the squad, it is unlikely Bresnan will make the XI for the first Test against Pakistan starting Thursday.
Both Bresnan and Shahzad face an important few weeks as they aim to cement their places on the Ashes tour later in the year. Bresnan is considered as an option to bat at No. 7 to allow England to play five bowlers, but currently Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss favour the six-batsman route with Matt Prior, the wicketkeeper, at No. 7.