- India A v England XI, Mumbai, 1st day
Bresnan: Good to have KP back
Tim Bresnan said that Kevin Pietersen's return for his first England appearance in almost three months, after a destabilising episode that threatened to see the batsman cast into the international wilderness, was no different to having a player come back into the side following an injury.
Pietersen was part of the England XI taking on India A in a three-day our match and took a catch off Bresnan's bowling to help remove Ajinkya Rahane in the first session. Pietersen last featured for England in the second Test against South Africa at Headingley at the start of August but Bresnan described his team-mate as the "same old Kev" and said it was good to have him back.
"For the lads it's nothing different to having a player come back to the squad who has been missing for a while," Bresnan said. "There's not been much made of it. Everyone in the know of what's being going on, they've sat down and spoke about things and I guess a few of the senior players have spoken, but for the rest of the boys it's pretty much been like having someone who's been injured come back in the side, it's not been exceptionally different.
"It's been the same old Kev. The energy in the field he showed today, all day, it was just Kev to be honest. It's been good."
Despite losing Steven Finn to a thigh problem early in the day, England's bowlers made regular breakthroughs after being asked to bowl in their first tour outing. Bresnan was the pick of the attack, with 3 for 59, while Graeme Swann also picked up three wickets as India A closed on 369 for 9, Manoj Tiwary top-scoring with 93.
"Overs under the belt is key in warm-up games, especially when we're playing Twenty20 cricket for quite a spell over the last month or so," Bresnan said. "So definitely, get a day out there, get a day in the legs, a day in the field.
"You can get value for your shots out there, if it's past the infield, it's pretty much four. There's not much margin for error short or full so I think that's a bit of rustiness but you expect that first day out.
"They played nicely, Tiwary played lovely but it seems like a nice wicket to bat on and obviously we'll know more after we have a go on it but it wasn't doing particularly much. And they dug in for a partnership when the going was good so that's part of what cricket's about."
The biggest stand of the day came when Tiwary put on 110 with Irfan Pathan for the seventh wicket. Tiwary was eventually the eighth man out, the first of two in two deliveries for Bresnan, who said that he had enjoyed bowling with the SG ball. "We've been using them a bit in Dubai the last couple of day," he said. "I like the balls here, they're nice to bowl with, swing a bit early on and reverse a bit later on, the spinners like them. It's a lot like a Dukes, but not a Dukes."