Tim Bresnan is determined to prove England are capable of better than they have so far shown in this winter’s Ashes defeat.
Bresnan returned from a back injury for the third Test in Perth – but not to significant effect as England lost by a wide margin, and Australia therefore took an unassailable 3-0 lead to regain the urn with two Tests to spare.
This, of course, was not how the winter was supposed to unfold for a team who arrived Down Under with the chance to win the Ashes for a fourth successive time.
Instead, England must engage in damage limitation and, on his return to the scene of perhaps the most memorable of his 22 Tests to date, Bresnan has a point to prove.
It was in Melbourne three years ago that he helped James Anderson and Chris Tremlett bowl Australia out for 98 on day one to set up an England victory to retain the Ashes.
Bresnan is hoping he is granted another chance to show what he and England can do here.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “Obviously, I have special memories there. I hope we can repeat some of that.
“Boxing Day should be pretty easy to get up for – there will be 98,000 or 100,000 people in there. If you can’t get up for that, you’re wrong in the head or something.”
England have fallen short of expectations in the first three Tests, and must reconcile themselves with the fact that the Ashes are gone.
But Bresnan still believes they can finish the Test winter on a comparative high.
“It was pretty sombre actually after the last day in Perth,” he said.
“We’re obviously disappointed to lose the series … but if we bounce back well, I think we can make it 3-2.”
Ben Stokes’ maiden Test century in the Perth defeat is an indication to Bresnan of better times ahead.
“Ben Stokes played out of his skin – and the way we played in the second innings to take it into the last day on that pitch, we can take a lot of confidence out of that,” he said.
“I think we’ve now found a solid number three [Joe Root] and a solid number six [Stokes].
“A lot of people inside the changing room knew Stokesy had it in him, to be able to do something like that.
“Now he’s shown the world he can play like that, and get big runs at Test level.”
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