TIM BRESNAN’s Test career might be widely perceived as over considering that the Yorkshire pace bowler has not played for over a year and fallen down the pecking order following last winter’s Ashes whitewash.
But Yorkshire’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon believes that it would be folly to write off his chances and says that recent adjustments to his bowling action could give Bresnan an extra yard of pace and propel him back on to the international stage.
As Bresnan prepared to make his debut today for Hobart Hurricanes in Australia’s Twenty20 Big Bash tournament against Aaron Finch’s Melbourne Renegades, Moxon explained why he personally feels that Bresnan can add to his tally of 23 Test caps – the last of them against Australia at Melbourne in December, 2013.
“I definitely think the potential is there for Tim to play Test cricket again,” said Moxon, who has been one of Bresnan’s biggest supporters over the years.
“He’s been working on a couple of technical things with his bowling prior to Christmas – in particular, not jumping out at the crease at the point of delivery, which has had the effect of making him lose his rhythm at times.
“Rectifying that can give him even more pace because all his momentum and weight is then going towards the target – ie, the batsman – instead of falling away at the crease as it has been doing on occasions.
“If Tim can continue with the improvements that he’s been making in training, and nail them now in a match situation in the Big Bash, I certainly think he can play Test cricket again.
“From what I’ve seen, all the signs are promising, and it will be a good test for him to put his training and practice into a match situation.”
For Moxon, this is Bresnan’s clear challenge in the coming weeks. The 29-year-old has signed a short-term contract with Hobart as a replacement for World Cup-bound West Indian all-rounder Darren Sammy, and he will be available for Hobart’s final four group games plus any knockout matches.
“Testing out these technical aspects in pressure situations will give us a good idea of whether Tim has nailed the changes or not, or whether he still has a bit more work to do when he comes back to Yorkshire after the Big Bash,” said Moxon.
“But I’m hopeful that he’ll be fine in Australia and that as well as extra pace, he’ll have a lot more consistency of line and length.
“That’s why I still believe that he can play Test cricket again – and one-day international cricket, too.”
Moxon said that England’s hectic schedule in the coming months could also work to Bresnan’s advantage.
England play 17 Test matches in a little over nine months starting from mid-April, while there is the customary surfeit of one-day internationals that mostly go in one eye and out of the other.
“There’s so much Test cricket over the next few months that you can’t have enough seamers really,” said Moxon. “On top of that, there’s also a lot of one-day cricket in the pipeline.
“England will need a squad of bowlers and Tim is still a quality bowler. But with the technical improvements he’s been making, he can be even better.”
Bresnan – 30 next month – has found himself overtaken in Test cricket of late by such as Yorkshire team-mate Liam Plunkett and in one-day international cricket by the likes of Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan.
Although Bresnan has never been an out-and-out wicket-taker as such, he has proved highly economical in one-day cricket especially, with Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale saying he would have picked him in England’s World Cup squad for his experience.
Twenty20 offers Bresnan another potential route back into the England fold, and Moxon believes that the player’s spell with Hobart will not only benefit him but also the White Rose club.
“To have this chance to spend a few weeks in Australia will be great for Tim to further develop his T20 skills and also for us with an eye on the summer coming up,” said Moxon.
“It’s a win-win situation from my point of view – a win for Tim and the club. It’s good for Yorkshire to have a player involved in something like the Big Bash.
“I’ve always said that the only way people get better at Twenty20 cricket is by actually playing it, so I’m pleased that Tim has got this chance.”
Bresnan, who joins a Hobart team who have won two and lost two of their opening four games, has spent the past few days acclimatising to Australian conditions. He was set to line up today alongside Nottinghamshire batsman Alex Hales, who plays his final game for the Hurricanes before linking up with the England squad ahead of the World Cup.
“I love Australia,” said Bresnan.
“I love the people and everyone is so friendly. I’ve brought my wife and son for the five weeks I’m out here and I’m looking forward to playing some cricket and sampling the sights and sounds of Tasmania.”