Sense of belonging spurs Bresnan
Tim Bresnan spoke to the media on Tuesday - watch his presser on ECBtv
Tim Bresnan has become a sturdy fixture in England’s improving one-day team - and is more confident than ever that he can continue to grow in stature.
The Yorkshire seamer produced some of his most impressive bowling yet at this level in an economical spell - which also included the crucial wicket of AB de Villiers - as England crushed South Africa by seven wickets in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
It is a far cry from the mauling he and others took from Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga when he was first making his way into the England side three years ago.
Bresnan’s development has been rewarded with a central role in an England attack, led by James Anderson, which - apart from a hammering in a 112-defeat at Cape Town last week - has successfully limited a powerful South Africa line-up.
The upshot is an 2-1 lead with one match to play, at Kingsmead on Friday.
It is a situation which naturally delights the 24-year-old, who believes his personal development has been significant since that first taste of international cricket.
“I’ve changed a lot,” he said. “I’m more confident as a cricketer.
“Back then, I was like, ‘Should I be here? Do I deserve to be? Am I good enough?’
“Now I think ‘Yeah, damn right I am. I’ll show you what I’ve got and get you out - rather than just try to keep this on the island’.”
Bresnan, who made his first-class debut aged only 16, concedes it has been an elongated transition for him to feel equally at home as an England bowler as he soon did in county cricket.
“I’m relaxed and enjoying my cricket, and feeling good,” he reported. “That’s pretty much how I operate for Yorkshire. It’s just taken me a while to transfer that into an England shirt.
“There’s a little bit more pressure obviously, and about 20,000 more people (in the crowd) as well.
“But you’ve just got to put all that aside and concentrate on what you’ve got to do.”
One of Bresnan’s most pressing personal tasks now is to ensure he avoids any pigeon-holing as a limited-overs specialist.
He currently has just two Test caps to 21 in the limited-overs and Twenty20 formats, and is not in the squad for the four-match series against South Africa starting later this month.
“I’m a little bit disappointed,” Bresnan admits, having not played a Test since England beat West Indies at the Riverside in May. “I don’t label myself as just a one-day cricketer.
“I want to be in the Test team - it’s the height of cricket, as far up as you can go. But I’ve just got to work my way into that.”
Discussion of Bresnan's all-round role inevitably invites comparisons with Andrew Flintoff, who retired from Test cricket this summer but remains keen to play one-day and Twenty20 internationals.
While Bresnan admits he would relish the opportunity to bat higher up the order, he is content for the moment to serve his apprenticeship in the lower middle order.
"I'm happy where I am at the moment - bowling like I am and batting at eight," he said.
"If they want to shove me higher up in the order, I wouldn't disagree with that. I'd love to get a few more overs with the bat in my hand.
"I'd like a crack at it. I'm looking forward to getting that chance - and when I do I hope I don't let myself down, and I show what I can do."