• England v Ireland, World Cup 2011, Bangalore

Bresnan expecting more from England attack

Brydon Coverdale in Bangalore
March 1, 2011
Tim Bresnan was the only England bowler to have success in the game against India © Getty Images

Tim Bresnan is sure England's attack has plenty of improvement left in it after Sunday's high-scoring tie with India in Bangalore. Bresnan was the lone star in the England bowling group with 5 for 48, to that point the best figures in this World Cup by a fast bowler, but India still managed to post an enormous 338.

England could also benefit from having Stuart Broad back after he was confined to bed over the weekend due to illness, and tweeted about his headaches and upset stomach. A much-improved Broad trained at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday, although it remains to be seen whether England will rush him back for the Ireland game at the same venue on Wednesday, or allow him to rest until they meet South Africa on Sunday.

One of the concerns for England against India was the continued poor form of their main strike bowler, James Anderson, who took 1 for 91, the equal second-most expensive analysis ever by an England player in an ODI. Anderson had also leaked 72 from his ten overs against the Netherlands in Nagpur, but despite his struggles, England have still managed to open the tournament with a win and a tie.

"There's not a lot of margin for error on these wickets," Bresnan said. "The Holland pitch was a very good wicket and the one the other night was probably the best we've ever seen to play on, I mean 330 plays 330, you can't really argue with that. Jimmy [Anderson] will be disappointed with his performance but he's a quality bowler and I know he'll bounce back from that and we're all backing him to bounce back. That's where the improvement lies, if we gel as a bowling unit."

Anderson was unlucky in the opening over against India, when he curved the first ball away from Virender Sehwag and Graeme Swann dropped a sharp chance at slip, before two more leading edges nearly went to hand in the same over. But the swing disappeared quickly and it was only Bresnan, with his subtle changes, who looked dangerous later in the innings.

"It's not swinging a great deal up the top and it's not really moving off the seam, so it's quite difficult to take wickets without using variations," he said. "You've just got to mix it up as much as you can and try to create pressure and get wickets that way.

"You can't really get away with anything wide of off stump. Even on off stump is still wide to some players. Different players have their different areas and it's quite difficult to keep it in an area where they can't score. Especially up top and in the Powerplays, when India took it the other night with the new ball, it skidded on nicely."

A day out from the Ireland clash, the pitch at the Chinnaswamy Stadium looked a little green, but after 676 runs were scored at the ground on Sunday, it's unlikely there will be much assistance for the bowlers by the time the game starts. But as Bresnan showed, the rewards for hard work are still there.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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