England’s Number 7

When Andrew Flintoff announced his retirement from test cricket last summer, it left the England cricket side requiring a new all-rounder to strike a balance within the team, a balance Flintoff had given for all of his 70 plus tests.

Many believe that Stuart Broad will one day fill this position and subsequently fill it for many years to come, but I feel the position at number 7 should go to Yorkshire’s Tim Bresnan (pictured above).

He is the ideal replacement for many reasons in my opinion and his stature continues to grow within the game as he becomes more experienced.

I have long been an admirer of Bresnan’s and along with my good friend, Chris Newton, we have championed his cause for some time now.

He proved on the recent tour of Bangladesh, that he possesses all the right qualities needed to fill the all-rounder role and he showed these in abundance in his innings of 91 against Bangladesh.

Bresnan is another off the production line at Yorkshire, which has obviously produced great international bowlers including Darren Gough and Matthew Hoggard in recent years.

But now has to be the time to give him a run in the side at number 7, backed up by Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad.

Would you agree?

I feel international cricketers should really enter the test arena once they hit their mid to late twenties and have served an apprenticeship at the county level of the game.

Bresnan (pictured below with Graeme Swann), is 25 and has taken over 200 first class wickets and served his apprenticeship well. He has many of the attributes to hold onto the number 7 position but ultimately he has to take wickets and score runs.

These attributes include a great bowling action and he has matured this in recent years to bowl a fantastic line and length and he persists at niggling away at opposing bowlers to consistently take wickets, 13 and counting in the early stages of the County Championship this season (whilst hitting a notable 61 in one of his innings too).

Plus, couple this with his ability to bat and bat well, he has to be given a full year summer in the England side, which will ultimately benefit the push to retaining the ashes next winter in Australia.

Tim has a fantastic temperament, which is arguably his finest cricketing quality and he seems to bring character and focus to the bowling attack. Mix this with the skills and abilities of Swann, Broad, James Anderson and Graham Onions and England could have an attack set in places for several years to come.

Bresnan’s build is ideal for the rigors of being an all-rounder in international test cricket. His build is similar to that of Flintoff but when you look at the great all-rounders in the game of cricket, the likes of Wasim Akram (pictured below), Ian Botham and Jacques Kallis.

They all had similar frames, Kallis more so than the other two to Bresnan and they all performed admirably at the highest level of the game, something that Bresnan now has to achieve. These are all positive signs of encouragement for Tim Bresnan and he has to aspire to these great names.

I think Matt Prior is more than capable of occupying the number 6 position in the side and if we are to stand a chance of beating Australia in the next ashes, then we need to play a five-man bowling attack.

So what do you think? Is Tim Bresnan the right man for the job?

I’ll finish with his test stats; in his 4 outings for the test team, he has taken 10 wickets and scored 277 runs and chipped in with a couple of catches. A decent start to what should be a very fruitful international career for a player always destined for the top of his sport.

Good luck Tim in the up-coming test series against Bangladesh and Pakistan and here’s to him playing his part in retain those precious ashes next winter.

Cheers for reading

Gaffers

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