The Ashes: Moxon says Bresnan or Shahzad can fill Broad's boots

Martyn Moxon insists Tim Bresnan or Ajmal Shahzad will land a life-changing moment if either wins the three-way duel to replace crocked Stuart Broad following his Ashes KO.

The Yorkshire seamers are set to slug it out with Surrey's Chris Tremlett for the right to replace all-rounder Broad, ruled out for the rest of the tour Down Under after tearing an abdominal muscle in England's sensational innings-plus victory over Australia at the Adelaide Oval.

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The trio are expected to face a winner-takes-all bowl-off in England's three-day warm-up game against Victoria at the MCG in Melbourne, which starts in the early hours of Friday – and the stakes couldn't be higher for the Ashes wannabes, who have never faced Australia at Test level.

And for the one who steps up to plate most impressively, the ultimate prize awaits, namely a place in the side for the third Test, which starts at Perth's WACA ground on December 16.

Tykes director of pro cricket Moxon said: "They (Bresnan and Shahzad) will be itching to get their opportunity and if they perform well in this game in Melbourne, it will really stand them in good stead.

"Listening to the pundits, they are reckoning Tremlett is probably the favourite. But if our lads have a good game over the weekend, then who knows?

"For them, it's all to play for and quite exciting.

"It's a huge series and the eyes of the world are on them, really. And if things go well, it could be a life-changing moment for Tim or Ajmal."

Beanpole quickie Tremlett is considered by many as a like-for-like replacement for Broad due to his ability to hit the deck hard and extract bounce due to his 6ft 7in height - especially with the WACA world-renowned for its lightning-fast pace and carry.

That said, Perth pitches have been noticeably slower on occasions of late – England's first warm-up game in Western Australia last month being an example - and on the debit side of promoting Tremlett, his last Test for England was over three years ago and his batting is modest with his average just 12.50 in his three Tests.

Bresnan, who has played five Tests for England, is seen by many as the next in line on the fast bowling front, with the all-rounder also able to buttress the lower order in the absence of Broad - which could prove decisive.

His average with the bat is 41.66, having plundered 125 runs in three innings with England, with an impressive top-score of 91 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in March.

The Pontefract-born ace also laid down a marker with the ball in England's final Ashes warm-up game against Australia in Hobart, taking six wickets and impressing with his reverse swing.

Shahzad, capped just once at Test level, has also impressed with his lively pace and ability to reverse the ball and has won plenty of admirers among players and management alike on the tour so far.

Following England's victory in Adelaide - Australia's first defeat in an Ashes Test for 24 years, the pressure has increased manifestly on the shaken hosts, in very real danger of becoming the first Australian team to surrender the Ashes at home before Christmas.

England will retain the urn if they win in Perth, with Moxon adamant all the worries are firmly at the Australian's door.

Moxon, capped ten times by England - and who played in the Bicentennial Test against Australia in Sydney in February 1988 - added: "Obviously, Broad's injury is a blow because you want to keep a winning team together, if at all possible.

"But certainly, it's really Australia who have got all the problems at the minute. They changed their bowling attack from Queensland for the Adelaide Test and it hasn't worked.

"So what do they do again; do they change it all again?

"They have got (Simon) Katich's injury as well and they are the ones with all the worries at the minute, thankfully."

On England's stunning victory in Adelaide, he added: "It was a ruthless performance and an outstanding one throughout. It was almost the perfect performance and you couldn't have got much better than that.

"Let's hope we can maintain if for the rest of the series."

OUT IN FRONT: Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen gives his orders during Saturday's 3-2 success against Ipswich Town. Picture by Simon Hulme.

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