Bresnan counters selection speculation

England

All-rounder Tim Bresnan has adapted a rational approach to his position in the XI for the fifth and final Ashes Test, which will get underway at The Oval on Wednesday.

All-rounder Tim Bresnan has adapted a rational approach to his position in the XI for the fifth and final Ashes Test, which will get underway at The Oval on Wednesday.

England, who sport an unassailable three-nil lead on the back of a 14-run win at Trent Bridge, 347-run triumph at Lord's, rain-affected draw at Old Trafford and 74-run success at the Riverside Ground, are likely to change the makeup of their seam attack in London.

While fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who have played in all four matches, are the leading candidates to be rested, Bresnan might be dropped to facilitate a recall for the man he replaced after the series opener – the lanky Steven Finn.

The tall Chris Tremlett, too is in contention for a comeback. Right-armer Graham Onions is unavailable for selection after breaking a finger during a recent domestic fixture between Scotland and Durham in Glasgow.

"I know there is speculation about team selection before Test matches – this one at Durham was no different – and I know there was some questioning of the timing of when I bowled on Monday, but I look at these things philosophically," Bresnan wrote in the <i>Daily Mail</i>.

"I just try to quietly go about my business and don't really need a pat on the back when I do my job. If I play poorly and get dropped then it's my fault but if I play well there's every chance I will get to play again. Simple as that."

Broad stole the limelight in Durham, where a second-innings six-for capped Man of the Match figures of 11 for 121. Bresnan, however, was the unsung hero after removing the dangerous David Warner, which started Australia's dramatic collapse.

Sitting pretty at 168 for two in pursuit of a tough 299-run target, the tourists later slipped to 179 for six and finally 224 all out – a score which would have read considerably stronger had Warner not fallen for 71 at a key juncture in the piece.

"I am so happy for Stuart. He was unlucky not to get even more than five wickets in the first innings and second time around he got on a run and was simply unstoppable. There's no better bowler in the world once he gets the wind in his sails and there's not many others in world cricket who can do what he can do," added Bresnan.

"Getting David was a big moment for me. It was a bit of a turning point in that final session. I like to think it was an inspired piece of captaincy from Alastair Cook, who didn't put a foot wrong as far as I'm concerned, to bring me on at that stage."

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