Look out Wendy. Look out Wendy junior junior. England’s line-up for the first Ashes test has been thrown up in the air. It’s all because a big cat, in the form of Tim Bresnan, has been thrown into Bill Lawry’s five-star pigeon coop.
The big Yorkshire man rescued his team with an unbeaten century against Essex. It was a really impressive innings from a guy who hasn’t yet set the world on fire with the bat for England. When our lower middle-order apply themselves, and choose their shots wisely, they’re incredibly hard to dislodge. Let’s hope we see more of these stubborn rear guard actions.
Most people expect Steve Finn to retain his place alongside Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson at Trent Bridge, but Bresnan’s innings might make them think again – especially as the top order batsmen failed to shine against a good, but hardly international class, Essex attack.
Although most of us would like to see Finn play – he’s tall, mean and a genuine wicket taker – I sense all is not well with Steve. He just hasn’t hit his optimum rhythm since David Saker started playing around with his run-up in New Zealand.
When Finn is on song, he’s lethal. But when he’s off colour, he concedes runs and his pace drops alarmingly. Having said that, Bresnan was hardly hitting the gloves hard at Colchester either. Nether, for that matter, was Graham Onions, who has definitely lost a yard of pace in the last twelve months. Both Bresnan and Onions were struggling to hit 82mph.
The quickest bowler on display in this match has been Tymal Mills, the young left-armer. He looks like a real prospect – he’s strong, athletic, quick and has a good action. Mills is one of the best young fast bowlers I’ve seen for a while; he looks better than Mitchell Starc already. In two years time he could be a match-winner for England. Lets hope Essex continue to look after him.
The problem – in case you haven’t heard yet – is that Mills wasn’t exactly looking after England’s interests though. He bowled a really aggressive spell at Bresnan and Swann and eventually hit the latter on the forearm. Although Swann batted on, his arm looked badly bruised and he was eventually sent to hospital for a precautionary x-ray. We’ll all be holding our breath for the results.