Tim Bresnan named in England squads to play Pakistan


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The Independent Online

Tim Bresnan was named this morning in England's one-day international and Twenty20 squads to play Pakistan, but his participation is still subject to ongoing fitness checks.

The Yorkshire seamer had to leave this tour of the United Arab Emirates, because of post-operative elbow pain, before the start of a Test series which ended yesterday in a 3-0 defeat for England.

Bresnan, joined in the ODI squad for the first time by uncapped pair Jos Buttler and Danny Briggs but not by batsman Ian Bell, returned to Dubai this week after resting his bowling arm for three weeks.

He was able to bowl on the edge of the square during the lunch interval at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on the final day of the Test series.

Bresnan is part of a 16-man ODI squad, in which the out-of-form Bell - who has 108 caps - is the most notable omission. Fast Bowler James Anderson returns, after being rested for the 5-0 defeat in India in October.

Middle-order batsman Buttler made his international Twenty20 debut last summer against India but is yet to play for England in the 50-over format, and slow left-armer Briggs is uncapped in any format.

Alastair Cook's ODI team will face England Lions on Friday in Abu Dhabi, in preparation for the four-match series against Pakistan. Stuart Broad will captain a 15-man Twenty20 squad which includes opener Alex Hales for a three-match series against Pakistan here.

An England and Wales Cricket Board press release made it clear Bresnan has yet to satisfy that he is fully fit.

"Tim Bresnan's inclusion in both squads is subject to a fitness assessment during the preparation period as he continues his recovery following an elbow operation," it read.

National selector Geoff Miller added: "We have selected two squads that include both experienced international players and younger players who have performed strongly for England Lions in recent months and deserve an opportunity to further test themselves against quality opposition.

"Playing against Pakistan in the UAE will be challenging, but it is important that these players continue to develop their skills so that we are able to make strides in limited-overs cricket, particularly on the subcontinent."

Coach Andy Flower confirmed Kevin Pietersen will again be promoted to open the innings in 50-over cricket, as he was in the World Cup last year.

"He is going to be opening the batting for us in this series, and that should be really exciting to watch," said Flower.

"We started with him in that position in the World Cup, and unfortunately he got injured and had to go home early.

"But he showed glimpses of what he could do."

Flower believes Pietersen could prove to be a match-winner at the top of the order.

"He's a very, very fine cricketer - a very dangerous cricketer - and someone we'd like to give the option of facing as many balls as possible in the limited-overs game," he said.

"If he stays in long enough, he will win games for us in that position.

"It hasn't worked out well for him at number four recently, but I'm really excited to see him embrace the challenge of opening."

England squad to play Pakistan in the one-day series which begins in Abu Dhabi on February 13:

A Cook (capt, Essex), J Anderson (Lancashire), J Bairstow (Yorkshire), R Bopara (Essex), T Bresnan (Yorkshire), D Briggs (Hampshire), S Broad (Nottinghamshire), J Buttler (Somerset), J Dernbach (Surrey), S Finn (Middlesex), C Kieswetter (Somerset), E Morgan (Middlesex), S Patel (Nottinghamshire), K Pietersen (Surrey), G Swann (Nottinghamshire), J Trott (Warwickshire).

England squad to play Pakistan in the Twenty20 series which begins in Dubai on February 23:

S Broad (capt, Nottinghamshire), J Anderson (Lancashire), J Bairstow (Yorkshire), R Bopara (Essex), T Bresnan (Yorkshire), D Briggs (Hampshire), J Buttler (Somerset), J Dernbach (Surrey), S Finn (Middlesex), A Hales (Nottinghamshire), C Kieswetter (Somerset), E Morgan (Middlesex), S Patel (Nottinghamshire), K Pietersen (Surrey), G Swann (Nottinghamshire).