TIM BRESNAN has been ordered by England to rest his troublesome elbow injury in readiness for a busy period of international cricket which includes back-to-back Ashes series and the Champions Trophy.
The Yorkshire pace bowler, 27, has been left out of the squad for the forthcoming Test tour of New Zealand after experiencing a recurrence of a problem that needed surgery 13 months ago.
England are hopeful Bresnan can avoid an operation this time and that he will be fit for their summer fixtures, which start with a two-Test series against New Zealand in May.
Yorkshire will still be represented in New Zealand in the form of batsman Joe Root and batsman/wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, the latter returning to the fold after he pulled out of the India tour due to a family illness.
Explaining the decision to omit Bresnan, who played in the fourth one-day international in Mohali only two days ago, national selector Geoff Miller said: “We have a busy international summer ahead of us and the medical team felt this was an ideal opportunity for Tim to take some time out to ensure his elbow is functioning effectively.
“Tim has got a little issue with his elbow and had the problem for a while.
“He’s had a problem and he felt that playing through it could alleviate that problem, but that hasn’t been the case.
“He needs it looked at because it’s not right at the moment.
“This was an opportunity for him to go back and get it sorted.
“He’ll have a look with the specialists and see what’s needed.
“It’s not necessarily an operation at this stage, and we feel he’ll be fine.
“Our medical staff say that he’ll be fine for the summer.”
England’s loss could be Yorkshire’s gain, with Bresnan sure to need some red-ball cricket prior to the visit of New Zealand.
Yorkshire play four County Championship and two CB games prior to that series.
Bresnan remains well regarded by the England management and could yet play an important role in the Champions Trophy, which takes place in England from June 6-23.
The one-day competition is followed by five Tests against Australia from July 10-August 25, after which England head Down Under for the return series beginning on November 21.
Bresnan had previously been named in the one-day international squad for the New Zealand tour, with England playing three ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals prior to the Tests.
Bresnan’s place in the Test and ODI squads has been taken by Chris Woakes, the Warwickshire all-rounder who has played seven ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals, but has yet to make his Test debut.
“This is a good opportunity for Chris Woakes to gain further experience in the international environment,” said Miller.
“He is coming in for all parts of the New Zealand tour because he’s shown what he’s capable of with the Lions.
“We are always looking to widen the squad and he has shown us in the nets and in the odd game that he could be part of England’s future.”
There is no place in the revised ODI squad for Craig Kieswetter, the Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman who has paid the price for recent performances.
Prior to the Mohali ODI, Kieswetter had played in England’s previous 34 ODIs but he will now start preparing for the county summer.
“Craig has had an extended opportunity in ODI and T20 cricket and while he has shown evidence of delivering performances on the international stage, we don’t feel these have been consistent enough,” said Miller.
“As we look towards the ICC Champions Trophy and ICC World Cup we will look to explore other options.
“It is always tough to leave someone out but we already have two wicketkeepers in the squad, so Craig might not have played and could have found himself sitting about.
“We discussed it with him and felt the best way forward was for him to go back to Somerset, work on his game and get a lot of runs early in the season.”
Whereas Kieswetter’s star is on the wane, Root’s is most certainly on the rise.
Miller admitted England are delighted with the 22-year-old Yorkshireman.
“He’s already shown us what he can do and shown he is very easy in the international arena,” added Miller.
“He’s taken everything in his stride and consequently we thought it best to get him in as quickly as possible.
“Joe still has to work hard because the opposition will try and find out about him and analyse him, but he’s a strong enough person to cope with that.”
Root had initially been handed the captaincy of England Lions for their tour of Australia, which starts on February 16.
That honour has now gone to James Taylor, the Nottinghamshire batsman who made his Test debut against South Africa at Headingley last summer.
James Harris, the former Glamorgan seamer who turned down the chance to join Yorkshire and instead joined Middlesex, has also been added to England’s ODI party.