Tim Bresnan plays down talk of 'bowl-off'
Tim Bresnan is confident he can make an impact in the third Ashes Test, if he is given a chance at Perth.
Like his two fellow seamers hoping to replace the injured Stuart Broad at the WACA next week, Bresnan had a day of toil against Victoria on a slow MCG surface which might have been specifically designed for a stalemate.
But after taking one of the two wickets to fall before the hosts declared on 216, he reflected on what he saw as another heartening England performance.
It was marred, on day one of three in this tour match, by five dropped catches - Michael Hill put down first ball by Matt Prior, in the slips rather than in his accustomed wicketkeeping role, off Chris Tremlett.
Hill (105no) made England pay, dropped another three times on his way to a maiden first-class century and sharing an unbroken stand of 147 in 60 overs with David Hussey (67no).
England then replied with 50 for one at stumps, Alastair Cook the man to go as his prolific run of Ashes form deserted him on this lower-profile stage.
England coach Andy Flower has already stated that the decision is already well-advanced in his mind as to who will come in for Broad, who suffered a series-ending abdominal tear in the second-Test victory at Adelaide.
That has been widely interpreted to mean 6ft 8in Tremlett will get the nod ahead of Yorkshire pair Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad at a venue noted for its extra bounce, as England try to consolidate their 1-0 lead - with three matches to go.
Bresnan is not giving up, though.
"It bounces a bit more at Perth, and I think I do get quite a lot of bounce," he said.
It was hard graft for England's three seam-bowling contenders today, but Bresnan was satisfied with their work.
"You've billed it as a 'shoot-out' or whatever, or a 'bowl-off' - whatever you're calling it," he told a press conference.
"But we can't see it like that. We've got a job to do and a game to win.
"We've gone in with that philosophy, as we did in that A game (victory) in Hobart - and we bowled really well again, backing each other up and bowling in partnerships."
Hill's painstaking 251-ball innings contained 11 fours in the end, but summed up the lot of both batsmen and bowlers on such an unresponsive surface.
"You can only bowl on what you get given," added Bresnan.
"You've got to make the best of the conditions. I think we did that as a unit.
"It's not really conducive to much out there - run-scoring, or getting wickets.
"You've just got to hang in there, build dots, build pressure and wait for a mistake really.
"We did that well. We got some swing early, then worked hard on the ball and got it reversing' - so it was an all-round good performance, I thought."
He was not too upset over England's missed catches either. "They were tough chances - that's cricket," he said.
"The fact we've been so good shines out when we do drop a catch or two."
Bresnan will lose no sleep over the selection process for next week, because he knows it is out of his hands.
Asked what might tip the balance in the remainder of this match, he suggested: "Probably six-for in the second dig?! But it's up to the powers-that-be to make that decision.
"They've had a really good look at all three of us; they'll look at the pitch and see what suits when we get close to the day."
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