DUBAI  - Graham Onions has been called into the England cricket squad after Tim Bresnan was ruled out of the Test series with Pakistan through injury.

All-rounder Bresnan missed the warm-up game against an International Cricket Council Combined XI in Dubai because his recovery from an elbow operation was taking longer than expected.

After trying a few deliveries during the warm-up for yesterday’s final day, it was decided to rule him out of the three-Test series, which starts a week today. With concerns over Bresnan and Chris Tremlett, Durham fast bowler Onions had travelled with the squad as cover. Now he has been officially added to it. “Bresnan tried to bowl, having had an injection and a good rest,” explained England captain Andrew Strauss. Having been considered too senior a player for the England Lions’ winter programme, which club-mate Scott Borthwick is part of, it had looked as if 29-year-old Onions might spend his off-season travelling the world as a net bowler.

That could still be the case, but this is another promising step forward in a career which could have been over by now.