Miller has high hopes for Bresnan
Geoff Miller is hopeful Tim Bresnan can play a full part in England’s “big summer” by soon seeking specialist advice on his right elbow.
Bresnan has been withdrawn from England’s limited-overs squads to face New Zealand next month and is not in the party, announced today, for the Tests that follow.
That will allow Bresnan to consult specialists regarding his right elbow, which he had surgery on in late 2011. His availability for the rest of the winter will be determined after medical advice.
The 27-year-old bowling all-rounder could be vital to England in a summer that begins versus the Black Caps and continues with a home Champions Trophy and the Ashes.
National selector Miller said: “It’s not necessarily an operation at this stage. He’s got a little issue with his elbow, as he’s had for a bit.
“This is an opportunity for him to go back and get it sorted out and have a look with the specialists, see what they feel is necessary because we need him 100%.
“There’s a big summer coming up. It’s a big one for us, this summer, so we just need to make sure he’s absolutely 100%. This is an opportunity to do that.”
Chris Woakes, a member of England’s one-day international party in India, has been called into all three squads for the New Zealand tour.
The 23-year-old all-rounder has risen through the England ranks, playing for the Under-19s in 2007 and 2008 before representing the Lions since 2009.
“He’s coming in for all parts of the T20 in New Zealand, for the one-dayers and the Tests as well. We’re always looking to widen the squad of course,” Miller continued.
“He’s shown us with the Lions, which is part of our pathway as you well know, and what he’s capable of doing he’s shown us in the nets here and the odd game that he could be part of England’s future, so we will continue along that line.”
Woakes is joined in the one-day international squad by James Harris and Joe Root, who between the three of them have replaced Bresnan and the out-of-form Craig Kieswetter. Like Woakes, Harris has impressed for the Lions over several years.
“There’s lots of seamers knocking on the door and we need to find out about these seamers so, again, this is an ideal opportunity to find out what he’s shown in the Lions, whether he can show that in the big arena as well,” Miller said.
“We’re always trying to widen the net and James Harris has justified his selection.”
Root has enjoyed a remarkable winter, making senior England debuts in all formats.
The batsman began with a composed 72 and unbeaten 20 in the Test series-sealing draw at Nagpur and yesterday’s inventive 57 was his first limited-overs international fifty.
“He’s showed what he’s capable of doing,” Miller enthused.
“He’s shown that he’s very, very easy with the Test arena. He took everything basically in his stride and he came on and bowled as well.
“So he showed us that he could very well be an international cricketer of the future. To get that experience, it was the ideal opportunity. So consequently we thought it’s best to get him in as quickly as possible.”
Root’s Test squad retention, together with England limiting that number to 15 in New Zealand, means Samit Patel and Eoin Morgan have made way after being in the India party.
“I had a long chat with Samit yesterday, explained the situation,” Miller added.
“We’ve got 15 in the squad for New Zealand. From the batting point of view, Jonny Bairstow’s in there, so that covers the extra batter. So we had to leave two out which was Samit and Eoin Morgan as well. I had a chat with Eoin. He understood. He took it fine.”
Root’s good form and Bairstow being available after missing the India ODIs on compassionate grounds have, in part, led to Kieswetter’s removal.
Kieswetter struggled with the bat in the second and third one-day internationals, making nought in the latter, and was dropped for the fourth.
“It is tough. It’s always tough to leave someone out of the England side,” Miler admitted. “But, bringing Joe in, we had to make an area and we’ve already got two wicketkeepers on that tour so Craig might or might not have played on that.
“And he could have been sitting about so we discussed it and talked with him and we felt the best way forward (was) for him to go back to Somerset and work on his game and go and get a lot of runs early season and obviously continue to go and work on his his keeping.
“We don’t close the door on anybody and we’re certainly not going to close the door on Craig. So we made that decision the same time that we brought Joe in.”