Yorkshire v Somerset: Resurgent Bresnan backed to make Test comeback

Yorkshire's Tim Bresnan (second right) is congratulated on the wicket of Somerset's Jack Leach.
Yorkshire's Tim Bresnan (second right) is congratulated on the wicket of Somerset's Jack Leach.
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MARTYN MOXON believes Tim Bresnan is ready to return to Test cricket.

Yorkshire’s director of cricket said the pace bowler was primed to gain an international recall.

England tomorrow name their squad for the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s that starts on Thursday.

And Moxon said Bresnan deserves to be included after his comeback following an elbow operation.

“Brez is ready – simple as that,” said Moxon.

“He’s done everything that could have been asked of him in my opinion and has bowled really well since his operation.

“I think he’ll be in the England squad, although whether he’s picked to play is another matter.

“The favourites for a starting place are probably going to be James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn, but, if England need Brez, he’s ready to go.”

Bresnan, who took two wickets on a truncated third day against Somerset, who scored 190-5 in reply to Yorkshire’s first innings 
505-9 declared, last played for England in the one-day series in India in January.

He missed the subsequent Test and one-day series series in New Zealand to fly to America for surgery on his troublesome right elbow.

The operation went smoothly and Bresnan, 28, has bowled smoothly since returning to Yorkshire action last month.

He started off gradually, bowling 10 overs in each innings of a three-day friendly against Lancashire at Headingley, before going on to take 11 Championship wickets and counting at 27.63.

“Brez has come back and performed well from day one,” added Moxon.

“He has worked hard on his rehab with our physio Scot McAllister and our strength and conditioning coach Tom Summers and it’s testament to all three of them as to how well he’s done.

“From that first game against Lancashire, Brez has looked as though he’s never been away.

“His pace has been good – he’d lost a bit of pace before because he couldn’t bowl without pain – and his form has been excellent.”

Bresnan, who has taken 57 wickets in his 18 Test appearances, got Yorkshire off to a great start yesterday when he claimed a wicket with the second ball of the morning after Somerset resumed on 92-1.

Bowling from the Rugby Stand end, he induced England team-mate Nick Compton to shoulder arms – a misjudgment that left umpire George Sharp an easy decision as Compton failed to add to his overnight 33.

Bresnan struck again when he knocked back the off-stump of nightwatchman Jack Leach as Somerset slipped to 123-3.

It came during an aggressive seven-over spell in which Bresnan returned figures of 2-25.

On a day when the wind was so strong that it shook the posts on the adjacent rugby ground, the visitors recovered through their South African overseas star 
Alviro Petersen, who continued his splendid early-season form.

Petersen, who went into the game on the back of scores of 167, 91, 136 and 43 – and who struck 182 in last year’s Headingley Test – made 54 before being well-caught at mid-on by Steve Patterson off Adil Rashid.

The leg-spinner – not introduced until the 63rd over – struck with his next ball too, having Arul Suppiah caught at short-leg by Joe Sayers to leave Somerset 189-5.

There was time for only two more overs before rain drove the players from the field 10 minutes before lunch and prevented a resumption, James Hildreth left unbeaten on 31 having achieved 10,000 first-class runs when he reached 24.

Although it will be difficult to force a result from here, Moxon said Yorkshire have not given up hope.

“All we can do is continue bowling the way that we have done and hopefully we can put them under some pressure,” he said.

“As a group I think we’ve bowled really well in this match and could easily have had another four or five wickets.

“This game is a good measure of where we are as a team, particularly with Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow away with the Lions, and also in view of the fact that Somerset are a very good side.

“In that respect, the way we’ve played in this match so far is a good sign going forward.”

Should Yorkshire somehow pull off a win against opponents who still need 166 to avoid the follow-on, it would be their third victory in their opening four Championship games.

Following an innings defeat against Sussex, Yorkshire have bounced back strongly with wins away to Durham and at home to Derbyshire.

“It’s early days, but it’s encouraging the way we’ve played so far,” added Moxon.

“We’ve batted really well in the last few innings and I’ve been delighted with the way we’ve applied ourselves.

“The lads are buzzing at the moment and there’s a great spirit within the dressing room.

“The challenge now is to maintain our good form.”