December 5 2013 Latest news:
Friday, November 9, 2012
England’s bowlers endured a tough day on the flattest of batting wickets, but can at least be cheered by Steven Finn’s continued recovery from injury.
Tim Bresnan led a hard-working attack and took two wickets as Haryana responded to 521 all out with 172 for four on day two of four in the final warm-up before next week’s first Test against India.
There was also a fifth half-century of the match for England from Samit Patel (66), before Rahul Dewan (77no) and Sunny Singh (55) responded in kind.
But perhaps the most heartening event for the tourists took place out of sight in the nets behind the Sardar Patel Stadium B Ground, where Finn bowled three overs off his full run without discomfort.
He and Stuart Broad are both sitting out this fixture because of injury, and it was thought the latter had the best chance of recovering from his bruised heel in time to start the four-match series.
But Bresnan said: “Finny, as far as I know, is off his full run now. That’s a very good sign.
“With six days to go, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be fully-fit.”
Finn’s availability may well mean Bresnan himself does not make the first-choice attack next week.
He does not see it like that, though.
“You throw someone like Steve Finn in there who is bowling 90mph plus consistently, and getting bounce and lift, he’s going to add to any team,” he said.
“He probably would get in any side in the world as he’s bowling at the minute.”
As for his own prospects, Bresnan added: “It would put a dampener on my preparation if I thought I wasn’t going to play.
“I’m ready to play, and hope I get the nod.
“You pick the bowlers who are bowling the best from the squad of players you have available.”
Bresnan was the pick today, if slightly more expensive than Stuart Meaker and Graham Onions, in difficult circumstances England know may well be replicated in the Tests.
“That wicket out there is possibly the best I’ve ever bowled on,” added the Yorkshireman.
“It’s unbelievable, easy-paced, nice bounce and just coming on to the bat lovely.
“You get the feeling you’re in an ‘indoor-school’ scenario. It’s not doing much off the straight, not seaming, not really bouncing much - and it’s not spinning at all. So it’s difficult.”
England, however, retain faith in their own ability and methods.
“We trust our plans, have done for the last two or three years - and we hope, if we deliver our skills well, we’ll show you (how to take wickets in India),” said Bresnan.
They have batted aggressively and well here too.
Even so, young off-spinner Jayant Yadav was happy to indulge in a little negative propaganda about the tourists’ performance.
It has been noted in many quarters that England have been starved of quality spin to face in their three warm-up matches, before they come up against Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha next week. Yadav, in only his fifth first-class match, took four wickets at a cost of 110 runs.
But he sensed a lack of certainty among the opposition batsmen.
“They were very uncomfortable against spin,” said the 22-year-old.
“They were very aggressive from the outset. If you were comfortable, you would play in your crease; you would use your feet once or twice.
“But from the outset, they had the mind-set of attacking the spinners ... (because) they were unsure how they would play spin.”
Bresnan was one of Yadav’s victims, caught at long-on - the direction in which the rookie was dispatched for three sixes by England’s frontline batsmen yesterday.
There were no obvious signs of trepidation in those blows - and none either it turned out, as far as Bresnan was concerned, over some less conventional dangers also spotted in the outfield.
A group of monkeys, identified later as black-footed grey langurs, made themselves at home on the B Ground in the evening session.
They took the eye of several wary travellers, but are apparently a common sight in Bresnan’s native surrounds of deepest West Yorkshire. Asked if he was put off, he said: “No, we get them down at my local cricket club all the time.”