TIM BRESNAN last night insisted he is ready to return to England duty.
The Yorkshire pace bowler was one of the chief casualties of the Ashes tour when England were thrashed 5-0.
But having been overlooked for the summer’s Tests, Bresnan believes he is back bowling as well as ever.
“I feel I’ve got my old zip back,” said the 29-year-old, who starred with 4-28 in yesterday’s six-wicket win over Worcestershire that sent Yorkshire top of Group A in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
“You have spells when you feel in good rhythm and I suppose I am in the middle of one of those spells.
“I imagine the (England) selectors are watching closely, and it’s up to them.
“I’m available for selection and, whenever they want to come and knock on the door, I’m ready.”
Bresnan’s best hope of an England return might be in the one-day arena, in which he has performed well for Yorkshire this summer. The Pontefract-born player has won 84 one-day international caps, the last of them against West Indies at North Sound in March this year.
“I do like the white ball and one-day cricket, and I don’t mind bowling in the powerplays up-front or at the death,” said Bresnan.
“I find it a nice, exciting challenge, and if you bowl pretty well there’s an opportunity to pick up wickets.”
Of yesterday’s match, which saw Yorkshire dismiss Worcestershire for 141 before cruising home with 19.4 overs to spare, he added: “I thought we bowled pretty well with our seam attack with Jack Brooks and myself up top.
“And Matthew Fisher backed us up really well followed by Adil Rashid and Richard Pyrah.”
Rashid took 3-21 from 10 overs, Brooks 2-34 from 10, Fisher 1-29 from nine and Pyrah 0-29 from seven, all playing their part in a comfortable win.
It was Yorkshire’s third success in four group games, and victory today against Leicestershire at Grace Road (10.30am start) would see them put one foot firmly in the quarter-finals.
As in their last fixture at Northampton, when Yorkshire were far too strong for modest opponents, they made light work of a Worcestershire side who rolled over meekly in the Headingley sunshine.
The visitors initially made good progress after choosing to bat, reaching 42-1 at the end of the mandatory 10-over powerplay.
But they crashed to 48-4 as Bresnan took 3-0 in six balls – and then to 54-5, 65-6, 78-7 and 85-8.
The embarrassment of a score under 100 looked on the cards before a last-wicket stand of 39 between Joe Leach and last man Mitchell McClenaghan – highest of the innings – helped them to the relative respectability of 141.
Fisher, 16, caught the eye on a day when he was one of five Yorkshire players named in the England U-19 squad for a five-match one-day series against South Africa later this month, along with captain Will Rhodes, vice-captain Jonathan Tattersall, spinner Karl Carver and pace bowler Josh Shaw.
Leach, a 23-year-old formerly with Leeds-Bradford MCCU, top-scored with an unbeaten 43 from 63 balls with five fours, with captain Daryl Mitchell’s 33 the only other notable contribution.
Worcestershire were dismissed with 6.4 overs of their innings remaining, their innings wrecked by the collapse of 7-43 after the opening powerplay.
Richard Oliver was the first to fall, lbw to Brooks, before Bresnan bowled Tom Fell and dismissed Alex Kervezee and Tom Kohler-Cadmore with the aid of slip catches.
Fisher struck with his seventh delivery to have Mitchell lbw, Rashid striking with his fifth when he bowled Ben Cox around his legs.
Ross Whiteley played all around a Rashid delivery and was lbw, Shaaiq Choudhry following when he edged Brooks behind.
Jack Shantry was stumped advancing to Rashid, and the innings ended when the returning Bresnan bowled McClenaghan as he aimed a big hit.
Alex Lees fell in the second over of Yorkshire’s reply when he skied McClenaghan to Fell at mid-on. It would have been 6-2 had Kohler-Cadmore held a tough low chance at second slip off McClenaghan offered by Kane Williamson when he was on one.
Not content with reprieving Williamson, Worcestershire fed him with a succession of short deliveries that allowed him to find his feet.
The New Zealander cut Shantry for four and then took three fours in an over off McClenaghan, Yorkshire reaching 38-1 at the end of their 10-over powerplay.
Lyth was second out with the total at 55 in the 16th over, caught behind off Leach, and Yorkshire slipped to 77-3 when McClenaghan had Williamson lbw for 43 from 63 balls with seven fours.
Andrew Gale made an attractive 29 before being bowled by McClenaghan, Rashid (27) and Jack Leaning (20) guiding Yorkshire home with an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 44.
Scorecard & table: Page 22.