FRIDAY POLL: Time to bring back Bresnan, believes Gale

Yorkshire's Andrew Gale with Tim Bresnan.
Yorkshire's Andrew Gale with Tim Bresnan.
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YORKSHIRE captain Andrew Gale believes England should bring back Tim Bresnan to boost their chances at next year’s World Cup.

Gale insists his county team-mate is ready to return to the 
international fold.

Bresnan has not played for England since they lost to Netherlands in the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh last March.

But Gale believes he has all the qualities England need.

“I would definitely have Brez in the side for the World Cup,” said Gale, as he looked ahead to the tournament in Australia and New Zealand in February and March.

“England should pick him for his experience because their one-day attack is quite inexperienced.

“At the moment, you don’t quite know what you’re going to get from some of the bowlers, but, with Brez, you know exactly what you’re getting.

“You know he’s probably not going to go at more than five runs an over and that he might pick up a couple of wickets, and also that he can bowl up front, in the middle or at the death.

“His batting is really valuable, too. I think his death-hitting has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years; we saw that in the one-day series in Australia last winter.

“Brez’s batting was one of the few shining lights for England in that series, and he came in and played some really good knocks.

“I just think his experience would be really useful.”

Bresnan – 30 next February – has played in 84 one-day internationals, taking 108 wickets at 35.

England’s form in the ongoing one-day series in Sri Lanka has highlighted the need for a steadying pace bowling influence that he could potentially offer, although the tourists have lately been without the injured James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Like those two, Bresnan is a proven performer in England colours. The fact he is a World T20 winner is also in his favour, according to Gale.

“The guy’s won stuff in the past and he knows what winning is all about,” said Gale, who is also Bresnan’s brother-in-law.

“At the moment, you’ve got to be careful about blooding too many lads all at once because you could be going into a World Cup where guys don’t know how to win big tournaments.

“Brez won the World T20 and knows what it takes to succeed at that level.

“He’s a calming influence on the pitch and someone you want to have around in pressure situations.”

Bresnan, who has also played 23 Tests and 34 T20 internationals, had a consistent summer for Yorkshire this year.

He took 30 wickets in 10 County Championship games at 31, 
15 wickets in nine List A matches at 24 and nine wickets in 10 T20 fixtures at 29.

Bresnan chipped in with 338 runs at 33 and averaged 43 with the bat in T20.

Gale believes he responded well to losing his England place.

“Brez has probably gone through a transitional stage mentally,” said Gale.

“I thought maybe, when he came back, he had to do a little bit of soul-searching and he was obviously disappointed not to be in the England team.

“But he has been a breath of fresh air in the Yorkshire side and a really good influence on-and-off the pitch.

“He plays cricket like he plays cricket in the back garden – the boy next door – and what you see is what you get.”

After years on the international treadmill, Bresnan is in the unusual position of having time to work on his game.

This is helping him iron out a technical issue after his recent recovery from a pectoral injury.

“He’s working on getting his weight going towards the target,” said Gale.

“Brez has got a nice run-up but he just jumps out on the crease a little bit, which takes his momentum away from the batsman.

“That’s probably because of all the one-day cricket he’s played over the years because it’s quite good to bowl wide on the crease in one-day cricket, as you’re not giving them any room to free their arms.

“But in four-day cricket, Test cricket, he needs to get close to the stumps to exploit that natural swing he gets with his wrist behind the ball.”

A recall for Bresnan is not the only change Gale would make to England’s one-day side.

Along with an increasing number of players and pundits, he would prefer captain Alastair Cook to concentrate on Test cricket and instead give an extended one-day run to Alex Hales.

“As much as I love Alastair Cook and think he’s a terrific performer for England, I think Hales is a match-winner,” said Gale.

“England need two guys at the top of the order like Australia have in Warner and Finch who just come at you and can put 70 or 80 on the board in the first 10 overs without even trying.

“Alastair Cook has a fantastic record in Test cricket, but I think someone like Hales could come in and score big hundreds like Rohit Sharma.

“These guys have the ability to bat through an innings and make 150-plus.”

Captain Cook receives 
one-match ban: Page 20