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Bresnan's summer with Steve Smith

— 19 August 2019

By Graham Hardcastle

Tim Bresnan has revealed how Steve Smith once badgered him to help secure a contract at Yorkshire, but was given the knock back in typical ‘Brezzy’ fashion.

Smith, aged 16, made his first-grade debut for Sutherland in the winter of 2005/2006 when the White Rose all-rounder was spending his winter with the same club on the outskirts of Sydney.

On Thursday, Smith is hoping to grace the Emerald Headingley turf, for the third time, for Australia in the third Ashes Test.

The Aussie linchpin is currently a doubt as he recovers from concussion having been struck on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the first innings of the draw at Lord’s on Saturday.

“He didn’t really say a lot,” recalled Bresnan. “He was just a typical young kid really.

“He was definitely very talented, but he didn’t play the way he does now. That’s obviously come from the experiences he’s had and how he’s figured his own game out.

“You could see he thought about the game immensely, otherwise he wouldn’t have scored the volume of runs he did at a young age. He had come through the grades.

“He’d scored a few in second grade and got in because one of the lads, as they do at that level, had just gone on holiday or whatever.

“He came in, got 70-odd and was difficult to dislodge. He played for the rest of the season.

“He was predominantly a leg-spinner. That’s how he made his way into the game and the Test team.

“He said, ‘Hey, can I come and play for Yorkshire?’.

“I was like, ‘Woah, hold your horses big lad. We’re full up and you’re not that good yet. Just grab yourself a couple of bats out of my kit bag and score some runs’.

“You could definitely tell he would do alright as a cricketer. But no way could you say that he’d score with the consistency he is doing at the moment.”

  • Smith, now 30 years of age, has just topped 6,500 runs in 66 Test matches, including seven against two-time Ashes winner Bresnan across three series between 2010 and 2014.

    In the first two Tests of this ongoing series, he has posted scores of 144, 142 and 92 in three innings, leading to the question of how do you get him out?

    “I’ve got two schools of thought on this,” said Bresnan.

    “You obviously need the ball to do something. If you get it moving, you’ve always got a chance.

    “But I’d be tempted to bowl at his strength – pack the leg-side and bowl at his stumps and just hope he misses one. He shouldn’t hurt you if you get your line right and you have that protection.

    “That gives you more chance of everything – bowled, caught, lbws.”

    Bresnan does not keep in contact with Smith nowadays: “The last time I spoke to him was probably the last time we played against them,” he said.

    And whether they meet up this week depends a lot on, “Whether I can get a ticket!” laughed the experienced all-rounder, who is currently playing in Yorkshire’s ongoing Specsavers County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough.

    The White Rose also have Vitality Blast fixtures away at Durham on Friday and then Notts on Sunday.

    Yorkshire will host their first Ashes Test, of which the first four days are sold out, since 2009, with the series tied at one apiece after the rain-affected draw at Lord’s.

    “It will be a fantastic occasion, especially with the new stand (Emerald Stand) up and running,” added Bresnan.

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