Bresnan wants to fill Flintoff role

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The Independent Online

Tim Bresnan cuts an increasingly confident figure in England's one-day international team - but he hopes to prove plenty more about his ability to himself and others.

Batting at number eight in a deep line-up and bowling seam at either first change, or with the new ball if required, the Yorkshireman is filling an Andrew Flintoff brief on the England sheet.

Flintoff's is a name Bresnan wisely declines to repeat when questioned on similarities or expectations of filling the injured Lancastrian's boots.

But as he prepares to help England close out what would be a notable ODI series victory over South Africa at Kingsmead on Friday, playing the Flintoff role on a permanent basis is a topic he has had to discuss.

"I'd like a crack at it," he said.

"I'm looking forward to getting that chance - and when I do I hope I don't let myself down, and I show what I can do."

But Bresnan will not be making the schoolboy mistake of putting unnecessary pressure on himself.

"I'm happy where I am at the moment - bowling like I am and batting at eight," said the 24-year-old.

"If they want to shove me higher up in the order, I wouldn't disagree with that.

"I'd love to get a few more overs with the bat in my hand."

Bresnan is grateful for the assistance available to him and others from several quarters in and around the England squad - and names his pace partner James Anderson, bowling coach Ottis Gibson and head coach Andy Flower as especially valuable advisers.

"Jimmy's good - obviously the senior bowler and very experienced," he confirmed.

"The communication between all us bowlers is very, very good.

"'It's swinging; it's not swinging. He's hanging back; he's coming at you'. Little things like that can give you something extra."

Off the pitch, the coaches' roles are equally appreciated.

"Ottis Gibson helps with the little things - 'Why did you do that?', 'Why didn't you do that?' - questioning you all the time. That's quite good," Bresnan said.

"Andy's brilliant. He's quite relaxed as well, and just lets you go out there and express yourself."

The current consequence is a winning England team, and Bresnan appears optimistic that situation will continue.

"The other night [a wide-margin defeat in Cape Town last Friday] was a bit of a hiccup, but that happens in sport," he reasoned.

"We're 2-1 up, playing good cricket. You can't complain about that."