Bresnan was the youngest player to have played for Yorkshire in 20 years when he debuted in 2001 at an age of 16 years. Bresnan made his England debut in the Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl on 15 June 2006. He scored 6 not out and conceded 20 runs from his two overs. Two days later he appeared in his first One Day International against the same opposition at Lord's, taking 1-44 from nine overs as England fell to a 20-run defeat. Bresnan made his Test debut for England at Lord's in 2009 in which he scored nine with the bat, and failed to take a wicket. In the second match, however, Bresnan picked up three wickets, including his maiden wicket of Brendan Nash and then scalped Denesh Ramdin two deliveries later.