Cricket: Bresnan calls for calm heads

Tim Bresnan is adamant there should be no "knee-jerk" over-reaction to England's unsuccessful Ashes tour.

England vs Australia: Tim Bresnan

After the third-Test defeat in Perth, the urn is gone with two matches still to play - and a predictable clamour for change has taken hold.

Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior and Graeme Swann are among the high-profile first-choice regulars who have previously helped to power England to three successive Ashes series victories yet are in danger of being the fall-guys - depending which expert, or otherwise, is read or heard.

Bresnan does not see it that way.

He returned from injury in time to play at the WACA, but to little effect as he admits he did not do himself or his team justice.

Coach Andy Flower appeared ready, in the aftermath of that 150-run defeat, to countenance dropping players as he tries to balance damage limitation on this tour with the need for effective forward planning.

He even spoke specifically about the pros and cons of sticking with wicketkeeper Prior.

Bresnan, however, has great faith in England's thirtysomething old guard to prove themselves again.

He said of Prior: "He's still his usual self. All the lads who are out of form, they're not really far away.

"They just need that little bit of luck to get them going - a dropped catch here or there.

"But the Australians are putting us under quite a lot of pressure. They're holding their catches, and there's no freebies out there at the minute."

Bresnan has had many more good than bad days with team-mates he is confident can collectively bounce back.

Some, at least, will have the opportunity to do that on a high-profile stage when England face Australia again on Boxing Day in Melbourne.

"You don't become a bad player overnight," added the Yorkshire seamer.

"Yes, there are dips in form. But class is permanent, and a lot of these guys in this team have a serious amount of that and a serious amount of runs backing them up.

"I think he [Flower] has come out and said he won't be scared to ring the changes.

"There has been a knee-jerk reaction, calling for heads. But personally, I don't think that's right.

"We're possibly one innings or one game away from a big score ... and winning Test matches."

Bresnan was disappointed, and apologetic, about his own performance in Perth - where he and the rest of the England attack were powerless to stop Australia recovering from a first-innings 143 for five to reach 385.

"It's a tough Test to come into, Perth, having not played much cricket before," he said.

"But I can't use that as an excuse. From a personal point of view, I wasn't good enough.

"I'm striving to retain my place, and try to put that right in Melbourne."

David Warner was one of Bresnan's toughest opponents at the WACA, and potentially will be again at the MCG.

The combative opener is just as likely to smash a length ball over the bowler's head for six as give it the respect usually accorded to a decent delivery in a five-day contest.

Bresnan knows what he is up against, and does not mind Warner coming at him - because the risk involved gives him a chance of a big wicket too.

He said: "That's the way he plays his cricket; he wants to put you under pressure.

"But with that, he's always going to give you a chance.

"If I bowl my best ball, and he whacks it for six, fair play to him. It must be a good shot.

"If I bowl a bad one, and he hits it for six, that's my fault."

Bresnan reasons that he and his fellow England players must take the same level of responsibility for another, off-the-field, aggravation which has beset one of their number since Perth.

Swann apologised on Thursday for a regrettable metaphor he used on his brother Alec's Facebook page.

It was a reminder of the dangers for public figures when they venture on to social-media platforms, one Bresnan himself discovered in his early forays as an international cricketer back in 2009.

These days, he is vigilant at all times about the folly of off-the-cuff remarks which may end up being read by tens of thousands of people.

"No matter what you put on social media, you've got to do it as if you were giving a face-to-face or live interview," said Bresnan.

"It's out there, and you can't pull it back.

"There's always people on the look-out for things like that."

Swann, like him, must therefore live and learn.

"Graeme crossed that line, but he's apologised - so that's the end of it," he said.

"I don't think it will affect him too much.

"People have dictaphones everywhere; walls have ears, so you've always got to be careful what you're saying and where you're saying it."



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