England’s lucky Test charm is ready to breeze in

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APRIL was a magnificent month for Yorkshire’s Tim Bresnan.

So much so that if Carlsberg did months, they would probably use his April as their template.

It was a period that began with Bresnan playing his part in England’s series-levelling victory in Sri Lanka.

And it was one that simply got better and better as he got married in the Maldives and then became one of Wisden’s ‘Five Cricketers of the Year’.

“I had a fantastic April,” said Bresnan, who begins May in a Yorkshire shirt when he plays in the County Championship match against Leicestershire at Scarborough, starting today.

“The win in the final Test in Colombo was brilliant; the lads played out of their skins – especially the batters who’d been under the pump.

“Then there was the wedding in the Maldives, and I had a fantastic time there – despite the fact we had a tsunami warning at one stage.

“Then, to top it off, came the Wisden honour, so it was extremely enjoyable all in all.”

If Carlsberg did cricketers, they would not make them more understated than Bresnan, who retains an endearingly modest air.

He has never been one to talk himself up, preferring to let others bask in the limelight.

It is not as if the 27-year-old all-rounder has nothing to shout about; in addition to developing into a world-class performer, he boasts a 100 per cent win record in 11 Test appearances.

Another five out of five would give him the world record, lifting him above Australia’s Adam Gilchrist, who was on the winning team in his first 15 Tests.

“It’s just one of those things,” said Bresnan, with a nonchalant shrug. “I’ve just dropped lucky, I guess. I suppose I’ve become something of a lucky charm for England.

“That’s certainly what I tell Straussy (Andrew Strauss) at every opportunity.”

Bresnan, however, is a good deal more than a lucky charm. He harbours genuine ambitions of becoming a Test match No 7, something that would enable England to play three seamers and two frontline spinners.

“I would love to bat at No 7 for England,” he said. “I enjoy batting, and I’d like to think I could move up the order.

“But it’s up to the captain and coach whether they give me that responsibility. If the opportunity came along, I would certainly relish it.”

For now, Bresnan is simply relishing being back with Yorkshire, something that does not happen very often due to his England commitments.

After playing his first county match of the season last week, he is playing his final game for the club at North Marine Road before the Test series starts against the West Indies at Lord’s on May 17.

“I love playing for Yorkshire and being back with the lads,” said Bresnan, who first played for the county in 2003.

“I’ve grown up with the majority of these lads and we’ve all come up through the ranks together.

“The squad has certainly got a lot of talent and we’ve got youth on our side as well, which is very important.

“Promotion is definitely a realistic target, and I think this side can go a long way.”

Bresnan got back into his stride last week against Kent at Canterbury, where he took 3-89 in 29.5 overs.

He is pleased with the way he is bowling at present but is not taking England selection for granted.

“There’s still a lot of competition for places, and that’s how it should be,” he said.

“I certainly don’t take my Test place for granted and I know I still have to get runs and wickets for Yorkshire.

“I’m happy with the way I’m playing at the moment and I still feel as though I’m improving as a player.

“At the end of the day, I’m still learning the game, and I don’t really think you ever stop learning.”

It is a refreshing attitude from a member of the world’s No 1 Test team.

Bresnan claimed 16 wickets at 16 in the series against India last summer that saw England climb to the summit – statistics that went a long way towards earning him his Wisden accolade.

It is an accolade that means a great deal to Bresnan, the 43rd Yorkshire player to be a ‘Cricketer of the Year ‘and the first since Matthew Hoggard in 2006.

It is reward for his skill, dedication and commitment.

“It’s a massive honour,” he reflected.

“It’s a very select club who’ve done it – even though there’s quite a few at Yorkshire who’ve got it – Dizzy (Jason Gillespie), Martyn (Moxon) and Ryan (Sidebottom).

“To be honest, if they’ve all got it, I thought it was a bit more select than it actually is.

“But, in all seriousness, it’s a wonderful honour and something that I will always cherish.”