Castleford’s Tim Bresnan is ready to be thrown straight back into the Ashes cauldron in the second Test in Adelaide this week.
Yorkshire all-rounder Bresnan has not played for England since the fourth Ashes Test in the summer back in August because of a stress fracture of the lower back.
But he played his first match last week, taking four first-innings wickets and making an unbeaten half-century too as the England Performance Programme drew with Queensland 2nd XI in Brisbane.
He was officially added to England’s full Test squad yesterday (Monday), having previously trained with them on tour and also had to watch them lose the first Test by 381 runs at the Gabba.
Bresnan has never lost to Australia - winning four of five Tests, and was the catalyst for their surge to series victory Down Under when he was called up for the final two matches three years ago.
He is likely to replace Chris Tremlett in the line-up in Adelaide.
“I’m excited to be back amongst it. I’m available for selection,” he said. “It’s been quite frustrating travelling with the guys and doing all the prep, but knowing I probably wasn’t going to play any of the warm-up games.
“But I’m relishing the chance if I do get one at Adelaide.”
Bresnan confirmed hopes were high all along that he would be fit in time for Adelaide.
“This was the plan from the outset,” he said.
“The medical team sat down then and said I may not be fit for Brisbane; there’s a slim chance for Adelaide, but - if everything goes well - we can push for that.
“(Coach) Andy (Flower) was happy with that, so brought me along as a spare member of the team.
“The lads have been great and pretty much treated me like one of the squad, so that’s been very good. Now I’m ready.
“I wouldn’t have my name in the hat if I wasn’t ready. I’d just be letting myself down if I did get picked and I wasn’t ready to play. It takes a great deal of honesty to say if you’re not... but I think I’m ready to play.
“I’ve bowled a lot, a lot of overs in the nets. Building up to full fitness, it does take a long while. I bowled nicely at Brisbane in both innings and there’s no reason why I can’t take that into a Test match.
“I’m quite a positive bloke, quite a positive player, so hopefully me coming back into the squad does give the guys a lift.
“I think the heavy defeat two weeks ago did dent us but I think we are a group of guys who, especially when our backs are against the wall, we come out fighting.
“We’ve done it time and time again, especially when we’ve been under pressure and in a corner, that’s when we show our mental fortitude.”