‘Lucky Charm’ Bresnan Returns to Bolster England for Second Ashes Test

England travel to Adelaide hoping to level the series

England travel to Adelaide hoping to level the series

Whilst England were slogging away in a two-day game at Alice Springs; most eyes were looking back at Brisbane where the England Performance Squad were in action. On the face of it this might have seemed a rather unremarkable match where England’s next generation of stars were battling to make an impression. However this may well be remembered as the moment when England’s tour started to turn itself around.

One of the key components of England’s success is recent years was making his return from injury and pushing desperately to return to the England set-up. Bowling all-rounder Tim Bresnan clearly did enough to impress as he has earned a recall to the squad, he is now expected to return to the side for the crucial Second Test at Adelaide. Bresnan picked up four wickets and added valuable late-order runs in the game, England will be looking for him to replicate that form against the Australians starting from Thursday.

Bresnan has been something of a lucky charm in his England career so far, he was on the winning side of the first thirteen Test matches he played. The bustling Yorkshireman has a good record in the Ashes too, England have won four of the five Tests against Australia that he has played in with Bresnan often picking up important wickets in those games. He has largely been unsung, plugging away while the more esteemed duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad have taken the glory.

Bresnan can’t be underestimated though. He bowls tight lines, has a good bouncer and is a very useful batter with three first-class centuries to his name. He bowls at a decent speed, not as quick as Australia’s attack but certainly sharp enough to exploit the quicker pitches Down Under. He is likely to replace Chris Tremlett who bowled relatively well at the Gabba without being overly threatening.

England will be relieved to have Bresnan in to boost the batting, indeed with him in, the tail looks a lot stronger. When he wasn’t busy decimating England’s batting, Mitchell Johnson showed the worth of lower-order runs in the first Test, his 64 in the first innings helped change the momentum of the game at the Gabba.

There has been talk of Bresnan coming in to bat at seven and England deploying five bowlers but I really can’t see that. England’s batters are enduring their worst run for a long time, they haven’t passed 400 since the tour of New Zealand earlier this year and they must end that run if they are turn this series around.

Only Ian Bell had a very good series against the Australians with the bat in the summer, England aren’t batting well as a unit, the top-order in particular has consistently failed recently. England now have a tough choice of whether to push Bell or Joe Root up to three; whoever gets the nod must deliver.

England claimed victory in the summer without ever really playing at their best. How they respond in this match will help indicate whether the Gabba was merely a blip or the start of a decline for this vastly successful and experienced side.

The batters will take solace in the fact that an England batsman has scored a double hundred in the two most recent visits to Adelaide. They will be looking to turn this into a hat-trick following on from the heroics of Paul Collingwood in 2006 and Kevin Pietersen in 2010.

If England are to get back in this series they need to fight fire with fire and counter the Australian onslaught which devoured them in Brisbane. Don’t be surprised if the returning Tim Bresnan is right at the heart of the backlash.

Australia v England Betting Odds
Australia to win – 2.40
Draw – 2.20
Everton to win – 3.45
Quoted odds are posted by Bulldog777.com as of today.

liam avatarLIAM McCONVILLE is an avid cricket fan, a hapless village cricketer and a Yorkshireman with an irrational hatred of Jade Dernbach. He rants about the game he loves at http://www.fortyballduck.blogspot.co.uk/ and @FortyBallDuck on Twitter.

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