Tremlett tip to keep Bresnan place warm

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England believe they have identified their third seamer for the first Ashes Test, but the chosen one may merely be keeping Tim Bresnan’s place warm.

Chris Tremlett, Steven Finn or Boyd Rankin will probably have to bowl especially well to keep Bresnan out of the side once - as England hope - he recovers from his back injury in time for the second Test in Adelaide.

Bowling coach David Saker conceded on Saturday that as yet none of England’s tall trio of fast bowlers, from whom one will be picked to support James Anderson and Stuart Broad at the Gabba this week, has completely measured up to expectations in the course of the tourists’ three warm-up matches.

Finn has the most wickets - including eight in the victory over an Australian Invitational XI in Sydney - but has been easily the most expensive, conceding more than 360 runs in two matches.

Tremlett is the likely leading candidate, but has yet to demonstrate at the age of 32 and after a succession of injuries, that he is still the same bowler who gave England their victory push down under three years ago.

Ulsterman Rankin is untried at Test level, but offers alarming bounce if he gets it right from his giant frame.

The stalking horse, however - not for Brisbane, but beyond - is the reliable Bresnan, whose superior batting is an extra bonus and was a telling factor in England’s series-clinching victory at Durham against Australia last summer.