The Investec Ashes June 26, 2013

Tremlett tells England: 'I'm ready for Ashes'

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It has taken almost 18 months and a couple of operations, but Chris Tremlett finally feels he is ready to return for the Investec Ashes series.

England have yet to be entirely convinced that he can play a part. They have not named him in their squad to face Essex at Chelmsford, beginning on Sunday, preferring another tall fast bowler in Warwickshire's Boyd Rankin, but he remains of interest.

Even when he was struggling to get out of bed and wondering if his career was over, he received encouraging phone calls from Andy Flower to remind him that he was in England's plans. And now, at long last, he feels he is ready to return.

Tremlett played the last of his 11 Tests against Pakistan, in Dubai, in January 2012. He flew home shortly afterwards with a back problem which required surgery and, while he attempted to comeback in the subsequent English domestic season, managed only one Championship game before injury intervened again and he was forced to undergo knee surgery.

"If I was picked for a Test tomorrow I'd be confident," Tremlett told ESPNcricinfo. "If you had asked me that three games into the season, my honest answer would have been that I'm not ready to play Test cricket. But now I have some games under my belt, I have my confidence back. I feel I'm ready now. I've no doubt."

Tremlett admitted that he had struggled for rhythm in the first couple of months of the season but felt back to something approaching his best in Surrey's last Championship match against Yorkshire. While he only claimed two wickets, he delivered 48 overs at a sharp pace and, for the first time, felt he was back to the level that helped him earn 49 wickets in his first 10 Tests.

"My body found it tough for the first two or three games of the season," Tremlett said. "The first few games weren't that enjoyable as it was such hard work on my back and knees. I was still feeling it a bit.

"But I'm not far off my best now. Something clicked at Leeds. At Derby I took eight wickets and felt I bowled pretty well, but I felt better at Yorkshire. I ran in harder. I bowled 48 overs against Yorkshire and I was bowling as quickly in my last over as I was in my first. I've a lot my rhythm and a lot more trust in more body now."

Tremlett was a key part of England's Ashes victory in Australia during 2010-11, when he claimed 17 wickets in three matches but admitted that, while he would love to return to that level, he would consider it "a bonus" after all his injury troubles.

"I'd love to be back playing for England again," Tremlett said. "That's what motivates me when I train. It's hard to top being at that level and playing in the Ashes while you're in county cricket but it would be a bonus from the dark times I've had.

"I would look at it as a bonus if I played for England again. After lying in theatre rooms and being opened up by surgeons, I'm grateful to just come back and play cricket at all.

"I never thought it was over, but there were times when I thought I might struggle. There were times when I was in a lot of pain and I couldn't get out of bed. So it's nice to get through that, as other bowlers have, and it's great to be playing and enjoying it.

"I've been trying not to think about England too much. I'm trying to relax, play for Surrey and not think too far ahead. If I keep doing the right things for Surrey, I'll work my way back into the England team. But I do feel confident that I'm almost back to my best now."

Chris Tremlett was speaking at the launch of the 2013 Friends Life t20 competition. For match ticket information visit ecb.co.uk/FLt20. #FLt20

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nutcutlet on June 26, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    Yes, Tremlett looked fit & firing at Headingley. (I said as much hereabouts after the final day). That bit of zip was back & he bowled many dangerous deliveries. I hope England keep him in mind, & if his progress continues, a return visit to Oz should be on the cards. He has every reason to be optimistic IMO. Certainly no one has made an overwhelming case for being considered ahead of him, excepting the four that have been picked for recent Tests. This is the best news for England. BTW, it seems to me that Woakes hasn't kicked on for whatever reason. I cannot see him as a Test player ATM.

  • jmcilhinney on June 26, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    It's great to see Tremlett back and hopefully his body doesn't let him down again and he can get back to exactly where he was. He's not there yet though, so he's not ready for the Ashes. Depending on performances by those picked and Tremlett himself in demostic games, he may be a chance for later in the home series or perhaps the touring party for the return series in Australia.

  • DaveMorton on June 26, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    Tremlett was very impressive against Yorkshire, on a flat Headingley pitch. Good action, as always, and lots of pace in prolonged spells of bowling, the only downside being an alarming spate of no balls. He must be close to selection, though the no balls would count against him, and I'm not convinced he does as much with the ball as his main rivals.

  • AKS286 on June 28, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    Very good news are coming from POMS side- 1. Root as an opener, 2. Tremlett is fit (must replace Broad), 3. Australian team lost completely like Fear force them to change the LAW, Arthur is axed (he is a good coach, Clarke must be axed from captaincy), The worst ever middle order batsman becomes coach. 4. KP is fit. Cook, Root, Trott, KP, Bell, Taylor/Compton, Prior, Swanny, Tremlett, Finn, Jimmy. Now Onion, Meaker, C.Wright is in 3rd bench.

  • Pyketts on June 27, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Has he been practicing carrying the drinks as I think that's all he'll do (bar for a large number of injuries).

    Shame as he has all the tools (although I'd play Onions before him).

  • RednWhiteArmy on June 27, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    Tremlett v Hughes ahaha what a funny sight that would be

  • brusselslion on June 27, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 & @randyoz: How pleasant to see you both back after such a long absence which, by chance, seemed to coincide with (yet another) series of dismal Australian performances.

    Anyway, Tremlett: His figures from the last Ashes series: 3 matches; 17 wickets@23.35. (2 of those wickets being Clarke)... and he can't even get in our squad at the moment!

  • HatsforBats on June 27, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, but Tremlett is much more heavily muscled than any tall bowler I've seen, he must be near 100kg!

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on June 27, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    Certainly Clarke can't wait for some easy pickings @ 80 mph from him . In any case can't be much worse -or better- than the rest of the lot like Anderson , Broad etc who M Clarke has set himself up for some Ashes doubles and 300 against his name.

  • mikey76 on June 27, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    Dernbach and Woakes have never been considered test bowlers. Broad has hardly failed, he has nigh on 200 test wickets to his name. Bresnan has had injury issues so its hard to judge his true calibre at test level, he certainly looked good in Australia but that was against some pathetic batting after all. Onions hasn't played a test match for a long time but has been consistently brilliant for Durham for the last few years and would be a handful in English conditions. I think Tremlett realistically will play in the return series, unless England have a lot of injuries to front line bowlers.

  • Nutcutlet on June 26, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    Yes, Tremlett looked fit & firing at Headingley. (I said as much hereabouts after the final day). That bit of zip was back & he bowled many dangerous deliveries. I hope England keep him in mind, & if his progress continues, a return visit to Oz should be on the cards. He has every reason to be optimistic IMO. Certainly no one has made an overwhelming case for being considered ahead of him, excepting the four that have been picked for recent Tests. This is the best news for England. BTW, it seems to me that Woakes hasn't kicked on for whatever reason. I cannot see him as a Test player ATM.

  • jmcilhinney on June 26, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    It's great to see Tremlett back and hopefully his body doesn't let him down again and he can get back to exactly where he was. He's not there yet though, so he's not ready for the Ashes. Depending on performances by those picked and Tremlett himself in demostic games, he may be a chance for later in the home series or perhaps the touring party for the return series in Australia.

  • DaveMorton on June 26, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    Tremlett was very impressive against Yorkshire, on a flat Headingley pitch. Good action, as always, and lots of pace in prolonged spells of bowling, the only downside being an alarming spate of no balls. He must be close to selection, though the no balls would count against him, and I'm not convinced he does as much with the ball as his main rivals.

  • AKS286 on June 28, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    Very good news are coming from POMS side- 1. Root as an opener, 2. Tremlett is fit (must replace Broad), 3. Australian team lost completely like Fear force them to change the LAW, Arthur is axed (he is a good coach, Clarke must be axed from captaincy), The worst ever middle order batsman becomes coach. 4. KP is fit. Cook, Root, Trott, KP, Bell, Taylor/Compton, Prior, Swanny, Tremlett, Finn, Jimmy. Now Onion, Meaker, C.Wright is in 3rd bench.

  • Pyketts on June 27, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Has he been practicing carrying the drinks as I think that's all he'll do (bar for a large number of injuries).

    Shame as he has all the tools (although I'd play Onions before him).

  • RednWhiteArmy on June 27, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    Tremlett v Hughes ahaha what a funny sight that would be

  • brusselslion on June 27, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 & @randyoz: How pleasant to see you both back after such a long absence which, by chance, seemed to coincide with (yet another) series of dismal Australian performances.

    Anyway, Tremlett: His figures from the last Ashes series: 3 matches; 17 wickets@23.35. (2 of those wickets being Clarke)... and he can't even get in our squad at the moment!

  • HatsforBats on June 27, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, but Tremlett is much more heavily muscled than any tall bowler I've seen, he must be near 100kg!

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on June 27, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    Certainly Clarke can't wait for some easy pickings @ 80 mph from him . In any case can't be much worse -or better- than the rest of the lot like Anderson , Broad etc who M Clarke has set himself up for some Ashes doubles and 300 against his name.

  • mikey76 on June 27, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    Dernbach and Woakes have never been considered test bowlers. Broad has hardly failed, he has nigh on 200 test wickets to his name. Bresnan has had injury issues so its hard to judge his true calibre at test level, he certainly looked good in Australia but that was against some pathetic batting after all. Onions hasn't played a test match for a long time but has been consistently brilliant for Durham for the last few years and would be a handful in English conditions. I think Tremlett realistically will play in the return series, unless England have a lot of injuries to front line bowlers.

  • jmcilhinney on June 27, 2013, 1:54 GMT

    @HatsforBats on (June 26, 2013, 17:13 GMT), Tremlett is 6'7", which is the same height as Steven Finn but Tremlett is probably a bit more solid. Joel Garner was 6'8" but, if you want someone more contemporary, watch a Pakistan game and check out Mohammad Irfan at 7'1". His bouncer and his yorker are the same delivery! ;-)

  • Lmaotsetung on June 27, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    Glad he's back and I love his attitude despite all the setbacks. The kind of guy that everyone should root for!

  • kensohatter on June 27, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    As ive said in previous posts there are very few holes in this consistent Pommy line up but one weaknesses I thought might be exploited was the English bowling depth. Tremlett was in my estimations out of calculations but to find out they have him and an Rankin waiting in the wings should broad not perform is impressive. I do think however that Tremlett is a replacement for Finn only. If Broad/ bresnan fails rankin should get a crack just to ensure a well balanced bowling attack. My hope as an aussie is that anderson goes down cause he is irreplaceable.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on June 27, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    As an Aussie fan, Tremlett is certainly more worrying than Broad or Finn. England should pick him certainly

  • Chris_P on June 26, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    Years ago when Warnie went to Hampshire, he came back gushing about what a prospect this guy was & I have followed his career since. Having seen him play down under last time, he is one bowler I have plenty of time for. If he only believed in himself a little more, he would be head & shoulders above any of the other English bowlers about. The image of flinging his long frame low down to snatch a caught & bowled is still fresh. He is an athlete, no doubt. He is good for cricket.

  • jb633 on June 26, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    @HatsforBats, hahaah completely agree with the point about Broad. The one good spell he will produce will keep him in the side for the next 5 years as it demonstrated his "potential" lol.

  • Cmar on June 26, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    Tremlett was brought in as cover, did well but sadly injury will put him at the back of the pack. Has not pulled up trees since return to county cricket. Why would selectors consider him?

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 26, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    Australia will remember all to well how Tremlett got on in their back yard last Ashes. And with all the other woes Australian cricket has right now, the fact that England have Tremlett back can't make for good reading for them.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 26, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    Excellent! Tremlett for Broad then; absolute no-brainer.

  • HatsforBats on June 26, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    He is without a doubt the absolute largest bowler I've ever seen and he's a definite bonus to the England attack at his best, but I can't see him forcing his way into this series. Predictions for this Ashes: Anderson averaging 15-odd, Broad being rubbish (yet still producing 2-3 spells of unplayable full-pitched swing and deciding the series with annoying swashbuckling innings against trend), Finn going at 4.5+ per over and taking 20+wickets, and Swann...oh wait, did we actually select 6 left handers?

  • SirViv1973 on June 26, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    I would love to see Tremlett back in the reckoning, but although there were encouraging reports from the game against Yorkshire, I think it's too early to say he is ready to play test cricket again. We now have a bit of a break for the T20 so I would be interested to see how he goes in Surrey's Championship games later in the season. If he does go well then hopefully he will be on the plane to oz in October.

  • asolitarywave on June 26, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    yeah RandyOz - Broad's been rubbish this year (23 wickets at 23.47) whilst Bresnan has a shocking record against your lads, averaging a mere 19.45. And as I type, Chris Jones, with a first class average of 17 has gone past his highest score and is looking good for a century against your much vaunted pace attack... But having the man mountain back is a welcome addition, good to have competition for places / backup in case of injury.

  • gsingh7 on June 26, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    tremlett can inject some life into limp england bowling unit. woakes bresnan broad dernback onions meaker have all been a bust. lets hope he can bowl in full 5 day test.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 26, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    Very Good news, and Tremlett will be a good addition to the bowling ranks especially for the series in the winter where he should be able to exploit the extra bounce he can get.

  • MarkTaffin on June 26, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    Always though Tremlett was England's most threatening bowler - certainly more so than Broad, Finn and Bresnan. Not sure the selectors think the same now after the "fast tracking" of 29 year old Big Boyd?

  • Juiceoftheapple on June 26, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    AWESOME bowler. Will only get better now as his confidence grows. Tremlett is the real deal. Australia should dread this news

  • Tigg on June 26, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    Gives England a bit of extra depth. If Anderson, Finn and Broad are considered England's first choice a backup of Onions, Tremlett and Bresnan is pretty good with Rankin, Woakes and Harris probably next in line.

  • RandyOZ on June 26, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    With the complete failure of Onions, bernbach, Bresnan, Broad and Woakes, lord only know they need him!

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 26, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    This is great news all round. Ultimately only he can know how his body is even if others can say if his bowling is back. He is terribly highly regarded and should have a Test career to return to. Some say he is like Ambrose, some McGrath-high praise indeed. I just hope he stays fit.

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 26, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    This is great news all round. Ultimately only he can know how his body is even if others can say if his bowling is back. He is terribly highly regarded and should have a Test career to return to. Some say he is like Ambrose, some McGrath-high praise indeed. I just hope he stays fit.

  • RandyOZ on June 26, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    With the complete failure of Onions, bernbach, Bresnan, Broad and Woakes, lord only know they need him!

  • Tigg on June 26, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    Gives England a bit of extra depth. If Anderson, Finn and Broad are considered England's first choice a backup of Onions, Tremlett and Bresnan is pretty good with Rankin, Woakes and Harris probably next in line.

  • Juiceoftheapple on June 26, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    AWESOME bowler. Will only get better now as his confidence grows. Tremlett is the real deal. Australia should dread this news

  • MarkTaffin on June 26, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    Always though Tremlett was England's most threatening bowler - certainly more so than Broad, Finn and Bresnan. Not sure the selectors think the same now after the "fast tracking" of 29 year old Big Boyd?

  • YorkshirePudding on June 26, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    Very Good news, and Tremlett will be a good addition to the bowling ranks especially for the series in the winter where he should be able to exploit the extra bounce he can get.

  • gsingh7 on June 26, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    tremlett can inject some life into limp england bowling unit. woakes bresnan broad dernback onions meaker have all been a bust. lets hope he can bowl in full 5 day test.

  • asolitarywave on June 26, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    yeah RandyOz - Broad's been rubbish this year (23 wickets at 23.47) whilst Bresnan has a shocking record against your lads, averaging a mere 19.45. And as I type, Chris Jones, with a first class average of 17 has gone past his highest score and is looking good for a century against your much vaunted pace attack... But having the man mountain back is a welcome addition, good to have competition for places / backup in case of injury.

  • SirViv1973 on June 26, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    I would love to see Tremlett back in the reckoning, but although there were encouraging reports from the game against Yorkshire, I think it's too early to say he is ready to play test cricket again. We now have a bit of a break for the T20 so I would be interested to see how he goes in Surrey's Championship games later in the season. If he does go well then hopefully he will be on the plane to oz in October.

  • HatsforBats on June 26, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    He is without a doubt the absolute largest bowler I've ever seen and he's a definite bonus to the England attack at his best, but I can't see him forcing his way into this series. Predictions for this Ashes: Anderson averaging 15-odd, Broad being rubbish (yet still producing 2-3 spells of unplayable full-pitched swing and deciding the series with annoying swashbuckling innings against trend), Finn going at 4.5+ per over and taking 20+wickets, and Swann...oh wait, did we actually select 6 left handers?