Tim Bresnan boosts Ashes chances in Essex, says Bob Willis
Tim Bresnan boosted his hopes of Ashes selection by racking up the runs against Essex, says Bob Willis.
Last Updated: 30/06/13 9:12pm
Bresnan reached 55 not out at stumps in Chelmsford as he and Graeme Swann (62) put on an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 116 to help England recover from 212-7 in their final game before tackling Australia.
And Sky Sports pundit Willis thinks the Yorkshire bowler's efficiency with the bat could see him edge out Steven Finn and secure the third seamer's berth for next week's first Test at Trent Bridge.
"If the selectors are ticking boxes against Bresnan and Finn's names, then Bresnan has [got one] and if he goes on to get a hundred it will be very difficult to leave him out [against Australia]," said the former fast bowler.
On England's overall batting display on the first of four days against Essex, which included forties for newly-appointed opener Joe Root and the returning Kevin Pietersen, Willis added: "England will be pleased they played in this manner at Chelmsford than at Trent Bridge as the batting at the top of the order was disappointing.
"However, Bresnan and Swann showed how good this pitch can be and I think England will want to bat long so that they can give Finn and Graham Onions, who might have to play important innings in the Australia series, a chance to bat."
Willis also reserved plenty of praise for Essex's bowling on day one, commending quicks David Masters (0-54 from 21 overs) and Tymal Mills (2-80 from his 21) and 23-year-old twirler Tom Craddock, who picked up the wickets of Pietersen, Ian Bell and Matt Prior.
"I thought Essex did terrifically well," he added. "The opening bowlers, Masters and Mills, did brilliantly and the young spinner [Craddock] was a revelation, so it has been a worthwhile exercise of England."
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