Broad omission gives Bresnan his chance to shine
Stuart Broad’s omission from England’s 12-man squad for Thursday’s first Test against Bangladesh is a slightly eye-opening decision.
The official line from the ECB says the Nottinghamshire all-rounder has been rested ahead of a gruelling remainder of 2010.
And while that is undoubtedly true, Broad’s absence could offer a chance for the much improved Tim Bresnan to stake his claim on the No.8 spot.
For all his talent, Broad has struggled with consistency throughout his Test career to date.
The 23-year-old has often been used as a square peg in a round hole in some workmanlike England bowling attacks.
He has juggled taking the new-ball with acting as first or second change bowler in both four man and five man attacks and all whilst leaning his trade at international level.
But the demand for multi-dimensional cricketers in the modern game and the lack of quality opposition for his place, means Broad has been an ever present since his debut in Sri Lanka in 2007.
Bresnan’s ascent from overweight county medium pacer to a key part of the World Cup winning side is nothing short of remarkable.
The Yorkshireman was alarmingly out of his depth when he made his international debut during the 5-0 ODI drubbing at home to Sri Lanka in 2006 and his recall last year came as something of a surprise.
But the 25-year-old’s hostility on barren pitches in Bangladesh last month along with a composed 91 highlighted his improvement.
And his accuracy and confidence in setting the tone with the new ball in the West Indies earlier this month was one of the most undervalued components in England’s victory.
Broad remains in pole position ahead of the Ashes later this year, but Bresnan should keep him on his toes.
For all his talent -and that spell at the Oval -Broad remains something of an enigma and his continued petulance has unsettled his halo for some fans.
His batting too has stagnated and if Bresnan can prove he is good enough to operate as part of a four man attack then he could just unseat Broad come Brisbane in November.