England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge July 28, 2011

England sweat on Tremlett fitness


India have taken an early decision to rule out Zaheer Khan at Trent Bridge, but England will wait until Friday morning to decide whether Chris Tremlett is fit enough to take his place. He has been struggling with a hamstring problem since the fourth day at Lord's and while Andrew Strauss remained optimistic on Tremlett's chances the signs weren't promising as he struggled during training.

Tremlett bowled in two stints but the second lasted only a handful of deliveries which he bowled off one pace before leaving the field again. He had earlier run in harder - although at far from top pace - against Alastair Cook in the full nets before getting further treatment from the physio both on the outfield and in the dressing room.

Tremlett was outstanding at Lord's, where match figures of 4 for 124 didn't reflect his constant threat as he troubled all the India batsmen, but with this game starting just four days later it puts a huge strain on the fast bowlers while there is also the longer term view of two further Test matches to follow.

Strauss spoke about Tremlett's chances moments before the very brief second spell in the middle and the captain's bullishness may yet be misplaced. "We are very confident he will be fine but like all of these things, because there is such a short turnaround, we have to wait until this afternoon or tomorrow morning to make a decision," Strauss said. "We'll only pick him if we are 100% sure he'll get through the game."

England are also blessed with plenty of capable reserves and Tim Bresnan will slot into the line-up should Tremlett be ruled out, although Steven Finn has also been called up as cover. Bresnan came close to replacing Stuart Broad at Lord's but, due to his own injuries at the start of this season, still hasn't played a Test since his key role in helping secure the Ashes in Melbourne and Sydney.

Tremlett's extra bounce has clearly unsettled the India batsmen - even the best were hopping around against him at Lord's - so his absence would be a blow, but Bresnan's fuller length and swing will be well suited to a ground that often gives the pace bowlers some assistance. As a by-product he would also give England an even stronger lower order alongside Broad and Graeme Swann.

"Tim Bresnan certainly hasn't let anyone down when he has played for us," Strauss said. "He was outstanding in Australia and he's getting better and better. In many ways he's unfortunate not to be playing at the moment and if he does come in he'll do a great job."

One of the main reasons Tremlett's international career stalled following his promising start against India in 2007 was a string of injuries which meant he was often sidelined for Hampshire. However, his move to Surrey last year coincided with an injury-free time which propelled him back into the England squad for the Ashes and since his comeback at Perth he has played seven consecutive Tests.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on July 30, 2011, 0:52 GMT

    India's bowlers have set this test up nicely. Now lets see if India's much bragged about batting line up can deliver?

  • Richard on July 29, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    @5wombats-Enjoying the contest mate. I picked you guys to win this series well and go to No.1, so don't please be making a liar of me. Catch you again soon!

  • Martin on July 29, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    Hey @Biggus! As you can see - it's business as usual here and we are having a lot of fun with people who paint targets on their foreheads. Are you going to do an overnighter and watch this game? You would have enjoyed Lords - A good Test match and the right result!

  • Mike on July 29, 2011, 2:47 GMT

    Well as many have said even if we lose the big fella, we have adequate replacements and anyway India have no Zak and we don't need to even discuss how big a loss that is for them, when they bounced back in SA it was entirely down to Zak, so chances are that they will not bounce back here. And, anyway who knows Tremlett may yet make it although the chances of that happening must be no better than 5%.

    Still, the main man at Trent Bridge is of course Jimmy Anderson who's last four bowling efforts there have been 6-17, 5-54, 2-55 & 7-43, to go with his career avg of taking wkts there at an amazing avg of just 15.

    I see jonesy2 continues to astound us with his amazing cricketing knowledge, keep up the good work jonesy2, we all can't wait for your next golden nugget of cricketing knowledge ! Once again he is proving that Aussies are extremely knowledgeable on all things cricket !

  • David on July 29, 2011, 1:15 GMT

    Not sure what you're basing that on Jonesy2 Eng would have the 2nd best bowling line up in world cricket at the moment and they're not that far behind Sth Africa. To me their weak link at the moment if anything appears to be Swann and he wont be down for long.

  • Andrew on July 29, 2011, 0:00 GMT

    In all the hoo ha about how unlucky India were losing Zaheer, I didn't realise that Tremlett was incapacitated. There was no mention of it in commentry. Interesting then that Tremlett has a hamstring injury - continues to bowl & take wickets, Zaheer has a hammy & goes off never to be seen again in the field AND is promptly ruled out of the next test. Could it be the IPL effect taking over? Players not liking the risk & reward in Tests v T20s? Could just be that Zaheer had a worse injury, but interesting anyway.

  • Rizwan on July 28, 2011, 23:58 GMT

    @khiladisher , Sehwag's batting is going to be as ineffective as it gets in these seaming pitches in England. If I were you I would try to make some realistic prediction, like, Sachin scoring his 100th ton, or Dravid showing again why he's so valuable. Hell, even Gambhir surely will be a better performer than Sehwag in these conditions.

  • John on July 28, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    Ah, jonesy2, great to see you- brings back such happy memories of the Ashes series. It IS hard to believe that England's 'average' bowlers can win, isn't it? And yet, they took 20 Aussie wickets 4 times, three times for less than England made in one innings. They bowled out Aus for less than 100 at Melbourne. Last Summer, they bowled out Pakistan 3 times for under 100. This year, they bowled out Sri Lanka for less than 100 in 24 overs to win by an innings- with Anderson hurt. They just bowled out the mighty Indian batting line-up for under 300 twice, with Tremlett hurt in the second innings, on a dead flat pitch. So either everyone else's batting is no good, or England's bowling is a whole lot better than you think it is. Is everyone else no good? Ponting, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman..... any decent bats there? I guess you might be wrong about England's bowling. Hard to believe, isn't it?

  • Abbas on July 28, 2011, 23:25 GMT

    KHILADISHER, your comments are not valid in the most imaginative, extravagant and abstract of dreams. Your so far off from reality, that your comment is LAUGHABLE. Sehwag will never make a fifty this series, let alone anything else. No Indian will make a double century this series

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2011, 22:36 GMT

    bearing the strength of the Indian bowling & the form of the English batsmen in mind i would bring in both Finn & Bresnan. that way whatever total England get bowled out for they have the bowling to defend. with 4 bowlers if Swann & another bowler misfires or is ineffective there will be hell to pay as Laxman & Tendulkar will want to bounce back & have their revenge

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