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England captain Alastair Cook has hinted that Tim Bresnan might be in contention to play in first Ashes Test if he can get some overs under his belt.
The Yorkshireman’s season came to an abrupt end after the Durham Test last summer as he was diagnosed with a stress fracture to his lower back.
The 28-year-old began physiotherapy on the injury and is improving all the time and he flew out to Australia with the rest of the squad earlier this week.
England are well stocked in the pace bowling department with James Anderson, Stuart Board, Steve Finn, Chris Tremlett and Boyd Rankin all fit and raring to go.
But Bresnan has the experience of playing Down Under and did well when called on three years ago as England won the Ashes 3-1 in 2010-2011.
England will play three warm-up games ahead of the series opener in Brisbane, while the development squad are also in Australia, and Cook has made it clear that Bresnan would have to prove that he could handle the strain of a five-day match before being considered for selection.
“He might be back bowling 100% by the first Test match – might be,” he said. “That’s the kind of progress we’d hope to see from Tim.
“He’ll obviously have to have some bowling in matches before he goes into a Test match if possible.”
The selectors have opted to go for giant fast bowlers to take advantage of the extra pace and bounce that Aussie pitches offer, but Bresnan’s ability to reverse swing the ball could be a deciding factor in selection if and when he returns to full fitness.