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The Ashes 2014 - Will Tim Bresnan make England's 2nd Test side?

Crunch Sports Staff in Cricket 27 November 2013
Tim Bresnan (credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

Will Tim Bresnan make his return to Test cricket when England take on Australia in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide?

That seems to be the question on every English fan's lips - apart from the very obvious, who will replace Jonathon Trott? The reason is quite simply the lack of penetration that Chris Tremlett showed in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba because of which the pressure to pick up wickets was on James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

One of the chief reasons for the English success in Test cricket in recent times has been the relentlessness in their bowling. James Anderson has been at the batsmen with pace and late swing, Stuart Broad gets them to bounce and Graeme Swann has always troubled the opposition with his nagging offies. 

To add to that, Anderson and Broad have mastered the art of reversing the ball well and even when the ball's gone soft, they have been able to extract movement to trouble the batsmen. 

However, with the lack of reverse swing and Swann's obvious under-par record playing in Australia - he averages 47 with the ball in the country as compared to his 29 overall - England struggled to penetrate through the Australian batting in the Gabba Test. What added to their woes was a lack of viable third seamer with Tremlett bowling at speeds well below the 130 km/hr mark.

Tremlett is a well-built, 6 foot eight bowler, who has often troubled batsmen with his pace and bounce and on occasions when he's got the conditions right, even with the movement he's been able to get. What was on display at the Gabba was a pale shadow of his own self and while there's a chance he may improve, it's a risk England may not want to take with them going into the Adelaide Test.

Bresnan was an unsung hero from the previous Ashes series - at least as far as the common fan is concerned - but his team holds him in high stead. He did not have an exceptional time with the ball in that previous Ashes, and yet picked up 10 wickets at 29.6. To go with that, he could be called upon to bowl long spells, and get bounce and reverse to trouble the opposition. 

Another key aspect of Bresnan's bowling is that he has that tendency to pick up wickets at crucial junctures - sometimes when things aren't going in favour of the fielding team or on other occasions when the tail has to be cleaned up. 

Unfortunately for England he injured his back before the last Ashes Test at the Oval in his home series and wasn't fit enough to play in the first game in Australia. Now, it seems like he will be a part of a warm-up game that the English Performance Squad will play against the Queensland XI, which will lead to the answer to two questions - will he be fit to replace Tremlett and if so, will he be battle-hardened enough for what's turning out to be a gruelling Ashes series for the visitors. 

The second Ashes Test starts from December 5th.

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