YORKSHIRE’S Tim Bresnan feels the current England side are capable of becoming the best team in the world in all three formats of cricket.
Indeed, in Bresnan’s eyes, his men should be ranked No 1 Test, one-day and Twenty20 side already.
England will look to prove the worth of their No 1 Test ranking next week when they begin the three-match Investec Test series against South Africa at The Oval.
The sides will then lock horns in both the one-day format and Twenty20 game over the summer and while Australia and South Africa are ranked higher in the former, Bresnan feels that can and should have already changed.
The all-rounder felt that but for an Edgbaston washout, England would likely have sealed a 5-0 triumph in the recent one-day NatWest Series against Australia – a scoreline that would have taken his team to the top of the charts.
However, Bresnan believes his international side can reach the one-day rankings summit anyway and become the world’s undisputed cricket team with the No 1 Twenty20 spot also already in the bag.
“The way we are playing at the minute there is great chance of us achieving that goal,” Bresnan told the Yorkshire Post.
“I think we are kind of seeing the potential happening already.
“We are No 1 in the world in Tests, we are No 1 in the world in Twenty20 and if we’d beaten Australia 5-0 then we would have been No 1 in the world at that as well.
“The way we were playing there was a chance of that happening but for the weather.
“It just so happens that having only those four wins against Australia takes us to No 3 but the way we are playing at the moment who knows?”
England are certainly in rude health with the one-day side having won 10 games in succession – four against Australia, two against the West Indies and four against Pakistan.
Bresnan is full of praise for the man now calling the shots of that unit – captain Alastair Cook – as well as in-form opening batsman Ian Bell.
“Cooky has taken over the reins of the one-day team and he has done a fantastic job of captaining the side,” said Bresnan.
“We are performing – the batters are batting well and the bowlers are bowling well and Ian Bell at the top has been really good.
“He’s got that experience and it’s fantastic to be in that environment where everyone is confident and the team vibe is outstanding.
“We have put a good few wins together and we are building a bit of momentum.”
Bresnan continued: “I don’t think there’s anyone around really to fear and you can’t really play your cricket in awe of teams or in fear of teams.
“If you do that, you have probably come undone before you have even walked out on the field.
“We’re very confident as a side and I think that’s showing in the way that we are playing.”
England’s next hurdle is on Thursday at The Oval as the mouth-watering summer series against South Africa gets started.
It features three Test matches, five one-day games and three Twenty20 encounters with the latter set to act as the perfect appetiser to the Twenty20 World Cup which takes place in Sri Lanka in September.
Bresnan cannot wait for the summer sizzler with South Africa to get cracking with the Second Test at Headingley next month at the forefront of his mind.
The Yorkshire and England all-rounder says he is over his recent elbow injury, having benefited from both an injection and an enforced rest which forced him out of Tuesday’s one-day win against Australia at Old Trafford.
“I just needed a couple of days’ rest and Andy (Flower) thought it would be better if I got an extra day in preparation for the South Africa series,” said Bresnan.
“I’m fully fit now and fine and I’m looking forward to what should be a fantastic series against South Africa.
“They are No 2 in the world and we’re No 1 and so there’s everything to play for.
“We want to stay there at No 1 and it’s just going to be a fantastic series to watch with probably two of the world’s best two seam attacks going head to head – and some very exciting batsmen in there as well.
“It will be two good sides playing some good cricket in a great series and I’m looking forward to playing at Headingley as well if I get the chance. That would be my first Test match on my home ground and I’m immensely excited.
“We’re also very excited about the Twenty20 World Cup and we’re defending champions so we’ve got something to aim at.
“To win back-to-back World Cups would be an outstanding achievement.”
This week Bresnan was staying close to his roots in Leeds for his role as ambassador of the nationwide Asda Kwik Cricket Competition.
It is a role Bresnan is only too happy to fulfil with the Yorkshire and England star remembering that his progression in the game was also hugely aided by kwik cricket.
“It’s good to see so many young kids on the outfield and I played it as a kid on the Headingley pitch and stuff like that in between the Test matches and one-dayers,” said the Pontefract-born player.
“It was brilliant and I loved it – whacking balls into the Western Terrace and watching people’s pints and fish and chips fly everywhere! It was really enjoyable.”
Not, though, as enjoyable as 27-year-old Bresnan’s career as a professional with him admitting playing for his country seemed only a distant dream as a child.
“I’m immensely pleased with how things are going,” he said.
“Obviously, I always wanted to be a professional cricketer and to play for England but I never envisaged that I’d actually be doing it.
“It was a dream and what I wanted to be doing and Test cricket is the pinnacle of the sport that I’m in.
“I’m just really proud to be playing for England.”
Tim Bresnan is an ambassador for the ASDA Kwik Cricket Competition.
ASDA are entering their seventh year of sponsorship of the National Kwik Cricket Competition. Visit www.asda.com/kwikcricket for more information