Bresnan encouraged by Finn
England’s bowlers endured a tough day on the flattest of batting wickets, but can at least be cheered by Steven Finn’s continued recovery from injury.
Tim Bresnan led a hard-working attack and took two wickets as Haryana responded to 521 all out with 172 for four on day two of four in the final warm-up before next week’s first Test against India.
There was a fifth England half-century of the match from Samit Patel, who hit 66 before Rahul Dewan’s unbeaten 77 and Sunny Singh’s 55 reduced the deficit.
Perhaps the most heartening event for the tourists took place out of sight in the nets behind the Sardar Patel Stadium B Ground, where Finn bowled three overs off his full run without discomfort. He and Stuart Broad are sitting out this fixture due to a thigh strain and bruised heel respectively.
Bresnan said: “Finny, as far as I know, is off his full run now. That’s a very good sign. With six days to go, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be fully fit.”
Finn’s availability may well mean Bresnan himself does not make the first-choice attack next week. He does not see it like that, though.
“You throw someone like Steve Finn in there who is bowling 90mph plus consistently, and getting bounce and lift, he’s going to add to any team,” he added. “He probably would get in any side in the world as he’s bowling at the minute.”
As for his own prospects, Bresnan added: “It would put a dampener on my preparation if I thought I wasn’t going to play. I’m ready to play, and hope I get the nod.
“You pick the bowlers who are bowling the best from the squad of players you have available.”
Bresnan was the pick today, if slightly more expensive than Stuart Meaker and Graham Onions, in difficult circumstances England know may well be replicated in the four Tests.
“That wicket out there is possibly the best I’ve ever bowled on,” said Bresnan. “It’s unbelievable, easy-paced, nice bounce and just coming on to the bat lovely.
“You get the feeling you’re in an ’indoor-school’ scenario. It’s not doing much off the straight, not seaming, not really bouncing much - and it’s not spinning at all. So it’s difficult.”
England, however, retain faith in their own ability and methods.
“We trust our plans, have done for the last two or three years - and we hope, if we deliver our skills well, we’ll show you (how to take wickets in India),” said Bresnan.
The game was briefly interrupted when a group of monkeys, identified as black-footed grey langurs, made themselves at home on the ground in the evening session.
They took the eye of several wary travellers, but are apparently a common sight in Bresnan’s native surrounds of deepest West Yorkshire. Asked if he was put off, he joked: “No, we get them down at my local cricket club all the time.”