Bresnan presses his case
Team director Andy Flower believes Tim Bresnan could be the find of England’s winter after the all-rounder emerged from the fringes against Bangladesh.
Bresnan has been a feature of the limited-overs side for some time but was discarded from the Test XI after just two outings against West Indies last summer.
Since then he has worked hard on his fitness, invested plenty of time in learning the subtleties of reverse swing and taken advantage of injuries elsewhere to announce himself as a frontline international seamer.
Bresnan was initially overlooked for the Test leg of the Bangladesh trip in favour Ajmal Shahzad, his Yorkshire team-mate, and Liam Plunkett but, after being added ot the squad as cover, he was selected ahead of both.
He went on to impress with the ball in Mirpur, catching the eye with his ability to move the old ball laterally and hit the deck hard.
In addition, Bresnan produced one of the balls of the tour to rattle Tamim Iqbal's off stump in Chittagong and then showcased his batting prowess with 91 in just his second Test innings this week.
"I thought our players held strong in some trying conditions weather-wise and on some very flat pitches," said Flower, after his side won the second Test by nine wickets to maintain a 100% record in all cricket against the Tigers.
"To get 40 wickets in the series was a very good effort and we've seen some good cricket as well as excellent individual performances.
"Tim Bresnan wasn't originally selected in the Test party but, with the opportunity given to him by the injury to Ryan Sidebottom, and after his performances in the one-day series, he sort of leapfrogged his way into the side.
"He performed superbly and I think he was the standout seamer in the Test series and probably the one-dayers too.
"He reverse-swung the ball both ways, he was controlled and accurate, bowled a heavy bouncer and was strong enough to keep going for long periods of time.
"He can bat a bit too and is a solid fielder who's worked very hard physically."
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the slow pace of the pitches, Graeme Swann was the tourists’ most prolific bowler, claiming 16 wickets in two Tests as he moved to second in the International Cricket Council bowling rankings.
While the off-spinner took the man-of-the-series award, Flower was pleased to see an inexperienced seam attack also featuring Stuart Broad and Steven Finn stick to their task in unforgiving conditions.
"Our guys needed a lot of discipline on these surfaces," he said. “Both the grounds had very flat pitches and it was hard to accelerate the game.
"But there was some hard, disciplined work with ball in hand. The experience gained from having to bowl reverse-swing and learning about the different fields that are necessary when you are doing that will be very valuable in the future.
"We had a very young bowling attack, a young captain and a young side, and this experience will be invaluable."
Words of praise for Bresnan also came from Michael Vaughan, the former England captain and ex-colleague at Headingley.
He has no doubt Bresnan has the attributes to find his own way at the highest level, with the right help in the coming months and years.
"Tim Bresnan is a good, honest Yorkshire lad," Vaughan said. "He bowls a good length at decent pace and bats solidly.
"I hope England can get him some experience this summer. (In county cricket) he comes up against decent pace and mostly conventional spin.
"What he has less experience of is raw pace and mystery spin. If we can play him this summer against Pakistan - with (leg-spinner Danish) Kaneria to face - we will find out that little bit more."
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