ENGLAND's medical staff will today assess Tim Bresnan's fitness after the Yorkshire pace bowler complained of a tight calf muscle during the second one-day international against Australia in Hobart.
Bresnan was forced to bat with a runner during a game which England lost by 46 runs to go 2-0 down in the seven-match series.
England last night said they were confident Bresnan's injury was not serious and hope he will be available for selection for tomorrow's third ODI in Sydney.
But they are taking no chances with the 25-year-old, with the 50-over World Cup just around the corner.
Despite his injury, Bresnan had a reasonable match, taking 2-37 from nine overs after Australia made 230 having been sent into bat.
Batting at No 8, he scored 19 from 27 balls with two fours as England were dismissed for 184 in 45 overs.
Ajmal Shahzad, his Yorkshire team-mate, returned 3-43 from 10 overs to press his own claims for a World Cup place.
But Shahzad was unable to make an impression with the bat, managing only two before being run out.
The difference between the sides was Shaun Marsh, who replaced injured Michael Hussey in Australia's line-up.
Marsh – dropped on 61 by Shahzad off his own bowling – was not deemed good enough for Australia's World Cup squad but showed his quality with a brilliant 110, made from 114 balls with eight fours and two sixes.
His efforts propelled Australia to a competitive score from the unpromising depths of 142-8.
Marsh received splendid support from No 10 Doug Bollinger, who made a career-best 30 from as many balls with three fours.
The pair added an Australian record 88 for the ninth-wicket before Bollinger was caught by Shahzad off Chris Tremlett, who took 3-22 from 9.2 overs.
England's reply never got going as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
Matt Prior fell for a third-ball duck on his return to the one-day fold following his surprise inclusion in the World Cup squad, and Kevin Pietersen was bowled by Bollinger for a golden duck.
Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell joint top-scored with 32, Bollinger capping a fine all-round effort with 4-28.
England report, reaction and scoreboard