The Definitive: Tim Bresnan

The Definitive: Tim Bresnan

Former England bowling-all-rounder Tim Bresnan on the defining moments of his career.

THE YORKSHIRE DEBUT

5*, 0-15 | Yorkshire v Kent, Norwich Union League, Headingley | 2001

I was 16 and trying – trying being the key word – to do my GCSEs. I caught Ed Smith at third-man off Gav Hamilton and I remember him running into the huddle, saying something like, ‘I told you it was a short, wide pitch’, because the ball had been rank. I totally bought it. The following year I signed a university contract and the idea was that I would go to college, but I wasn’t much good at that either.

THE KIWI EXPERIENCE

8 wickets at 31 | Under 19 World Cup, New Zealand | 2002

Tim Bresnan in New Zealand
Going to the mattresses

You can tell this was a long time ago because all the blokes on the tour – guys like Nicky Peng, Kyle Hogg, Gordon Muchall – have retired! I don’t remember much about the cricket but there were a lot of practical jokes. We were in dorms at Christchurch Uni and there were no locks on the doors. We came back from dinner one night and someone’s mattress was in a tree. My first thought was: ‘F***, that’s hilarious’, then ‘Ah shit, I hope that’s not mine!’

THE TEST BREAKTHROUGH

1-72 & 3-63 | Bangladesh v England, 1st Test, Chittagong | 2010

The time is now
Tim passes the test

On debut at Lord’s I took a good catch in the gully and didn’t bowl in the first innings. Cheers, Strauss! This was my first overseas Test and it went pretty well. At Chittagong I got some reverse and bowled Tamim [Iqbal] from round the wicket, on the outside, knocking out off. Then in Dhaka I got 91 in a big stand with Belly and a few more poles. The pitches were dull but that kind of suited me as I very rarely get five-fer. It’s the role that I play: I don’t touch the newie and I bowl the shit overs that usually get panned with a ball that looks like the dog’s had it!

THE PERFECT TOURNAMENT

0-35 | England v Australia, World T20 Final, Barbados | 2010

It was one of those rare situations where everything just clicked. We all knew our roles. The team spirit was great and Colly as captain was ultra positive. He didn’t give a shit if we were bowled out for 20 as long as we were aiming for 200. It was pretty special to thrash the Aussies in the final. The celebrations were superb.

THE BOXING DAY BLITZ

2-25 & 4-50 | Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne | 2010

Tim Bresnan
Christmas comes a day late

I was brought in for Finny and we went and bowled them out for 98, which was immense. By the close, Strauss and Cook had us 150-odd for none. There had been 91,000 in the ground at the start and by the end all that was left was the Barmy Army. I knew I was bowling quick, I felt strong and was hitting the bat hard. In the second dig we got it reversing, which was key. I got three in 20 balls or something and then all the lads piled in.

THE SYDNEY CELEBRATION

3-89 & 2-51, 35 | Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney | 2011

Tim Bresnan Definitive
Cue the sprinkler

We didn’t celebrate much after Melbourne. We wanted to win in Sydney. The senior guys spoke about the 5-0 in 2006/07 and how we wanted to grind them. Se we had a beer but behaved and waited until the last Test was done. I bowled nicely again, and got a few runs. I was in a great groove, batsmen were struggling to score off me. We won by an innings and then did the sprinkler on the outfield, which was probably a mistake. It came back to bite us I reckon. You can’t mess with Mother Cricket.

THE PINNACLE

11 & 90, 2-48 & 5-48 | England v India, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge | 2011

Tim Bresnan's Best Performance
It doesn’t get better than this

I got 90 and a five-fer and didn’t get Man of the Match because Broady got a hat-trick! That is so Stuart Broad. This was when we were at our peak – we won the series 4-0 and reached No.1. I remember getting stuck right into Yuvraj because we were mates when he was at Yorkshire and every time he bowled I tried to smack him out the ground. I bowled faster at him, too. At that time we were the engine room – Prior at seven, then me, Swann and Broad. It was great fun batting with those guys, we were all a bit maverick. I was probably the straight man, but quite often I’d be building an innings and would just go, ‘F*** it, I’m gonna tee off with the other lads’. That was the start of the improvement in my batting really, taking it more seriously and trying to get into the top six.

I got 90 and a five-fer and didn’t get Man of the Match because Broady got a hat-trick! That is so Stuart Broad

THE DURHAM DEMOLITION

169*, 3-40 & 0-40 | Durham v Yorkshire, County Championship, Chester-le-Street | 2015

Jonny [Bairstow] and I came together with the team behind the game. That’s where we’ve been good these last few years, digging ourselves out of the shit. I’ve been packing a spade in my kitbag, and we’ve needed it. Jonny was in the form of his life and I just stuck with him [in a stand of 366] and ended up with my highest-ever score. Colly actually had me plumb lbw pretty early on but the umps said no. It cannoned off my front pad, onto the bat and flew through extra-cover for four. Plumb. Collingwood spewing. Lovely.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP NAILBITER

Tim Bresnan Career Highlights
Bresnan’s finest knock

3-48 & 0-33, 142* & 55 | Middlesex v Yorkshire, County Championship, Lord’s | 2016

I think the circumstances make this the best knock I’ve ever played. It was gutting to lose but most of the lads were just happy to be in it on the final day. I’d battled hard to get 70-odd and one of the journos explained what we needed, points-wise. I had partnerships with Hodd and Rafiq, then Patto [Steven Patterson] played a stupid shot, so Siddy [Ryan Sidebottom] had to stick around to get us to 350. On 349 we went off for rain and the boys were very angsty, but I just had a kip because I was so knackered. In the end there was a bit of cloak and dagger going on and the chase was always going to be tough. That day was great for the game with so many people in.

THE BIG BASH WIN

3-40 | Perth Scorchers v Sydney Sixers, Big Bash Final, Perth | 2017

Tim Bresnan Big Bash
Bresnan thinks Mitch Johnson is a softie. Pass it on.

Perth Scorchers are a serious outfit. Hungry, experienced and they have Maxy Klinger. That’s why they clean up. I made some great mates and slotted in straight away. Perth is very similar to Yorkshire, where people see themselves as a bit different. The People’s Republic and all that. We had this incredible week where Mitch Johnson just kept taking wickets. We had a bit of awkwardness at first but he apologised for bowling thunderbolts in 2013 and is a big softie really! It was just about enjoying every game in front of packed out crowds. Results then looked after themselves.

What has been your favourite moment of Tim Bresnan’s career? Tell us below.

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