• The Ashes

Bresnan added to England squad

George Dobell
December 2, 2013 « Szczesny: Too early to talk about the title | Chartbeat test »
Tim Bresnan picked up four wickets for England's Performance Programme last week © Action Photographics
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All-rounder Tim Bresnan has been added to England's Ashes squad and could play in the second Test in Adelaide, which starts on December 5.

Bresnan, 28, was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower back in August and missed the final Test of the Ashes in England. While he arrived in Australia with the Test squad, his on-going involvement was always dependent on him proving his fitness ahead of the second Test.

Having taken four wickets in the England Performance Programmes' match against Queensland Second XI last week and undergone a thorough fitness test afterwards, he has now officially been added to the squad. He has also been bowling at full pace in the nets for a couple of weeks.

Chris Tremlett filled the third fast bowler's spot normally taken by Bresnan in Brisbane but produced a modest performance. With England also keen to strengthen the batting after a dismal performance in the first Test and the loss of Jonathan Trott, Bresnan, a far better batsman than Tremlett, could be set for an almost immediate return. Both Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin all but bowled themselves out of contention with disappointing performances in Alice Springs.

It appears that Gary Ballance will benefit from Trott's departure and win the chance to bat at No. 6 in Adelaide, with Joe Root or Ian Bell set to move to No. 3. Root, despite an unconvincing performance in Alice Springs, appears the more likely choice, with the England camp reluctant to weaken a strength by moving Bell from the No. 5 position from which he largely defined the previous series in England.

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George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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