England tick a few boxes

SP

There is an earthy charm to almost everything Tim Bresnan does on a cricket field. In a sporting world obsessed with sculpted physiques and cut-throat competition, he is an odd man out. The burly English all-rounder possesses a heart and spirit as ample as his broad shoulders.

Bresnan is forever ready for a laugh and doesn't mind being the butt of most jokes in the England dressing-room-especially when Graeme Swann is in his element. Not for nothing is he the most popular member of the England camp-the lovable oaf.

On the field, Bresnan is untiring. He is the quintessential team-man-one who can be trusted with plugging away relentlessly regardless of pitch or weather conditions.

The 27-year-old's approach to bowling is as unassuming as his disposition. On the face of it, there's not much in Bresnan's repertoire that really catches the eye. He bowls what is commonly called the 'heavy ball', using his expansive shoulders to bang the ball just short of good length and gets it to thud onto the bat. But there are subtleties in grip and release that he uses cannily to move the ball off the seam. Then there is the effort ball, which more often than not gets Bresnan his wickets.

Like Yuvraj Singh found out on Thursday at the Brabourne Stadium. The India A left-hander had walked out in a rather sedate mood in the second innings. But just when he looked like he had got his eye in, Bresnan hurried Yuvraj into a desperate stroke, getting him caught at mid on.

He had caught Ajinkya Rahane and a well-set Manoj Tiwary napping in similar fashion even in the first innings. Rahane had hardly looked in trouble during his 16-ball stay at the crease before Bresnan surprised him with a stinging short-pitched delivery. None of the English bowlers had made an impact on Tiwary before the Yorkshireman snuck through his defences.

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