Tim Bresnan looks like a saviour. With broad shoulders, a stride which eats up the ground and a genial smile that says 'everything's going to be okay' he is the cricketing equivalent of an AA man in a high-vis jacket attending to a car which is struggling to get going.
Oddly, though, we had not seen him coming. Following England's spluttering (understatement alert) in Brisbane, there was little talk about Bresnan's Ashes prospects. All the focus was on who would replace Jonathan Trott. No-one thought that the burly Yorkshireman could be in contention for the second Test at Adelaide.
But he is. It would appear he is going to stroll straight back into the XI, replacing Chris Tremlett whose demeanour has always suggested he is not one for a crisis. Bresnan's team-mates should be pleased to see him.
That is because he has a habit of riding to their rescue. One only needs to think back to the last Ashes in Australia for proof. England had just suffered a heavy defeat in Perth and were bewildered as to how their man-for-man superiority could only amount to a 1-1 score after three Tests.
So England added Bresnan. Or, to put it another way, ballast; shoring up the bowling with a trier who would run in all day at an impressive lick and then give it a biff with the bat. In his first Test at the MCG on that tour, Bresnan took six wickets and England did not look back. In Sydney he took five wickets in an innings and 83-run victory.
It is clear that the England management are expecting him to have a similar impact. Against a Queensland second XI last week he showed his worth, taking four wickets and scoring a half-century.
As warm-ups go it is not the sort of strenuous workout which impresses punters. But England insist he has had a full fitness examination following recovery from a stress fracture of the back which has kept him out of the game since August.
Man for a crisis
If he is fit, then Bresnan is a game changer. One needs only to look at England's record with and without him to realise his importance.
The most telling statistic is what happens to England's win percentage when he is out of the side. Since May 2009 when the 28-year-old made his debut against West Indies, England have won 70% of matches with Bresnan in the XI. Without him (36 Tests) that rate drops to 42%.
It is interesting to analyse in greater detail how England have performed when Bresnan has been missing. Remember that awful first-innings record in the first Test of an away series that was all the rage after Brisbane? Bresnan did not play in five of the six batting horror shows.
Yet he did return to the team to add strength and succour in Sri Lanka, New Zealand and, as we have already mentioned, Australia on England's last visit. No wonder Andy Flower and Co are so desperate to have him back.
Indeed, it would appear that England bat better when Bresnan is around. With him in the team, England average 400 runs in the first-innings of a Test. Without him that figure drops to 333.
Oddly, England concede lower totals without Bresnan: a first-innings average of 305 compared to 332. In mitigation, however, Bresnan missed three spectacularly bad batting displays by Pakistan during the study period when they failed to breach 100.
It would be fair to reckon that in those incidents against a team with backbone, the gap would have been smaller - adding 10-15 runs to the average - and rendering it almost irrelevant.
Either way, it is difficult not to recognise what Bresnan brings to England. Simply, they are a better bet with him in the team at Adelaide rather than without him.