England v New Zealand: Tim Bresnan determined to impress
England v New Zealand: Tim Bresnan vows to seize his chance to impress after returning from elbow surgery ahead of the first Test
Not too dissimilar to a former world champion boxer returning from a defeat, Tim Bresnan has come out fighting ahead of the First Test against New Zealand on Thursday.
Forced to return to England midway through the winter to have a piece of bone surgically removed from his right elbow, many feared Bresnan may never return to the international arena.
But despite losing “three to four yards of pace” and failing to take a wicket in his last two Test matches, the 28-year-old is touting his chances of a Test recall this week after a successful operation.
“I am not here to carry the drinks,” he said, speaking to Cricinfo. “I am here to play the game and throw my hat in the ring for selection. I think the next two days will tell the management and Cooky a lot about where I am at and what I can do.”
Bresnan has started this season with a bang. The hard-working seamer has performed admirably on rather flat wickets at Headingley, as he works to regain his rhythm.
The Pontefract paceman has heightened expectation that he is back bowling at full tilt by collecting 13 wickets at an average of 27.07, including two four-wicket hauls.
“I probably lost three or four yards of pace to be honest,” he added.
“I feel I have got that back. I can sit here and say whatever but it is just as easy to show everyone. I can spin a yarn and say it is all brilliant or I can just get on the park and show you what my pace is like. I have not been in front of a speed gun but it feels alright.”
His failure to take a Test wicket in 45 overs in India emphasised how much he missed his deceptive turn of pace which saw him become such a tour-de-force with England two years ago.
It was only last summer when his remarkable record of being on the winning side of all his opening 13 Test matches came to an end.
Not that Bresnan cares too much; he is just grateful to back in the international spotlight to hopefully prove a few people wrong again.
Making his England debut relatively late after breaking onto the county scene, critics have tended to conclude that Bresnan is little more than a squad player.
Yet Bresnan has frequently risen above expectations during his 18-Test career.
Although he does admit that his road has sometimes been rocky, particularly with the feat of overcoming his latest injury.
“A couple of hours before the operation you think this could go one or two ways,” he said.
“I might never play for England or cricket again or I might be back better than ever. You have to weigh up that risk and then decide yes, put in the effort and get on with it again.”
With back-to-back Ashes series round the corner, it would be uplifting to see Bresnan bloody the noses of his detractors, once again.