Bresnan fighting fit
Tim Bresnan has declared himself fit and ready for competitive action on the eve of England’s limited-overs series with Pakistan.
Following practice under lights at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium today, the seam-bowling all-rounder reported no discomfort from the post-operative elbow pain which prevented him playing in the 3-0 Test series defeat.
The 26-year-old Yorkshireman had to fly home before the first Test and returned on the penultimate day of the series, having rested the injury for three weeks and undergone a succession of fitness checks.
Bresnan played in England’s warm-up win over England Lions yesterday, and today batted and bowled in the nets ahead of Monday’s first of four one-day internationals - at Abu Dhabi.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m available for selection,” he said. “It’s up to Cooky and Andy [captain Alastair Cook and team director Andy Flower], what they do with that information. I hope I get a game.”
It had been anticipated Bresnan, who had minor surgery at the end of November, would be fully recovered in time to play in all three Tests. That proved optimistic, but he added: “I feel really good. It’s been a long recovery road, back to fitness.”
Bresnan is still wearing a support bandage on the vulnerable joint, but said: “That’s just a bit of padding, in case I dive on it. Everything’s fine. I’ve tested it as much as I can.
“I’ve had a bowl, batting, throwing, done a little bit of diving on it, and it seems to have come out the other end all right.”
Bresnan, whose perfect 10-out-of-10 record of Test wins to caps is intact thanks to his absence over the past month, would much prefer to have been helping his team-mates in the Middle East.
“It was frustrating,” he said. “It’s tough watching on the sidelines when you’re injured, even when the lads are winning. But it’s even tougher when they’re losing.
“You feel it even when you’re so far away, when the lads are trying so hard and it’s not going our way. I’d much rather be there, even if I was losing with them as well.
“If you offered me another win in a row, or just be with my team-mates - win, lose or draw - I’d much rather be with the guys.”
He has been encouraged, though, to find England still upbeat despite their Test setback.
“I didn’t really know what to expect when I walked in the dressing room, but the lads were just the same - just as strong as a team,” he added. “You win as a team, and lose as a team.”
Bresnan acknowledges the tourists face no easier task against Pakistan in the limited-overs leg of their tour than they did in the Tests.
But he was pleased with their first 50-over performance of the year, in which Jade Dernbach and Steven Finn each took two wickets, he added one of his own and then Cook and Jonathan Trott both made half-centuries - the latter's unbeaten.
“The lads bowled well up front,” he said. “Jade and Finny really set the tone of the innings - three down in the first four overs.
“That was fantastic to watch. It just nibbled a bit, and they exploited it perfectly. Then I came on, and managed to sneak one out.”
As for Pakistan, he added: “They are a tough side to beat anyway, and gave us a good challenge. They’ll be tough to beat, but it’s definitely one we can overcome.”
Uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler was able to bat in the nets today, but remains a doubt for the first ODI because of the split webbing in his left hand.