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Tim Bresnan fears being overlooked for Ashes despite century at Essex

Tim Bresnan (L): Unbeaten century, but only one wicket at Essex

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Tim Bresnan is aware that he needs to improve his form with the ball if he is to forces his way into England's plans for the Ashes.

The Yorkshire seamer proved he is capable of providing crucial lower-order runs after he compiled a superb, unbeaten century in England's warm-up match against Essex at Chelmsford.

Bresnan combined with Graeme Swann for an eighth-wicket stand of 187 to help England reach 413-9 declared, but figures of 1-43 from 12 overs in Essex's reply did not enhance his Ashes ambitions.

Steven Finn claimed 3-56 as Essex limped to 231-9 by the close of the second day, and Bresnan now has his work cut out to beat Finn to the third seamer's role when the Ashes begins at Trent Bridge next week.

"The bowlers will be picked on form," he said. "So if I'm not bowling well enough, it doesn't matter how many runs I've got.

"The batting side comes as a bonus. If it's a straight shoot-out, it'll help my cause. But if I'm not bowling well enough to get into that straight shoot-out, then it won't matter at all.

"I think they're backing the batters to get the runs."

Jaik Mickleburgh held up England's attack as he made battling 90 for Essex, and he didn't mention Bresnan when asked which bowlers had caused him the most trouble.

"Finn came pretty hard in his second spell, but I thought Graham Onions bowled very well," Mickleburgh said.

"The ball was 'reversing', and he showed great skill levels in that he probably made me play 95 per cent of the deliveries I faced from him.

"He definitely made me play more than the others. But Finn bowled some good balls."

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