England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 3rd day July 23, 2011

Towering Tremlett unsettles the master

Sachin Tendulkar's battle with Chris Tremlett was an enthralling contest between a giant of the game and a giant of man

Scorecards rarely give the full picture. Stuart Broad will want a copy of today's which shows 'Tendulkar c Swann b Broad 34', but he owes a huge thanks to the man who preceded him at the Nursery End during the afternoon session as Chris Tremlett gave the latest example of the formidable Test bowler he has become.

Test cricket doesn't come much more intense than the two hours between lunch and tea that the bumper Saturday crowd at Lord's was treated to. There were flowing boundaries, edges, wickets, dropped catches and a towering fast bowler making life difficult for one of the best batsmen to have ever played the game. Tickets aren't cheap, but they were worth every penny.

Tremlett has removed Tendulkar once before in a Test match - a rib-cage short ball that was fended to short leg at Trent Bridge in 2007 - and can justifiably feel he could have had him again here. It was an enthralling contest between a giant of the game and a giant of man. That series four years ago gave India forewarning of what Tremlett was capable of so, although his career stalled after that promising start, his impact hasn't surprised the visitors.

"We noticed Tremlett four years ago," Rahul Dravid said. "I remember the boys saying that he could be a special bowler. That's been proved in recent years and he's developed a lot."

The head-to-head with Tendulkar started before lunch and he took the early honours with a sweet square drive, but in the penultimate over of the session Tremlett beat the bat on three occasions as he made the ball swing and seam from a full length. They resumed after the interval and kept exchanging blows. Tendulkar would thread a boundary and Tremlett would respond with some extra effort.

Tremlett's 15th over asked questions with every delivery. Tendulkar was desperate to try and get forward, but the height of Tremlett made it awkward, and an over later he went for a drive which spooned into a vacant area at point. That was the last ball Tremlett sent down in the spell - delivered 11-3-30-1 either side of lunch - and when Broad replaced him to took just four deliveries to find the outside edge which was snapped up at second slip.

"If you can apply pressure from both ends you have a better chance," said an appreciative Broad. "We talk about that as a bowling unit, bowling in partnership, not giving easy runs away. Whenever you come in and get a wicket in your first over it is normally down to the guys who have done the work previously so a lot of credit has to go to them."

The swing from Tremlett, subtle as it was, brought another dimension to his bowling. Everyone knows about his bounce, and he often finds seam movement from a tricky length, but movement in the air is not such a common weapon for him. It was a marked improvement on his display on this ground against Sri Lanka which, he admitted during the build-up, may have been hindered by the Lord's slope.

The occasional delivery was still speared down the leg side, particularly in his first couple of spells, but there was much more of the splice-jarring accuracy that makes him such a threat. He didn't finish unrewarded, either. VVS Laxman managed to flick to fine leg, then with the second new ball he had MS Dhoni caught at slip and removed a flinching Harbhajan Singh for a duck. It was the least he deserved.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sean on July 26, 2011, 15:12 GMT


    if he really wanted to boost his average every time,he would've scored yesterday rather than blocking.if he was caring for his ton he wouldn't have been defensive.

    If sachin exposed the tailenders then dravid too exposed the tailenders in this test after he got his ton. if sachin's century always come under losing cause and he can't handle pressure(2nd innigns acooridng to you guys) then dravid too scored a century under losing cause and choked in the 2nd innings...so,dravid isn't a team man and only cares for personal milestones like sachin isn't it?

  • sean on July 26, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    Let me tell you the difference...

    dravid is being hailed for his brilliant ton and for scoring "yet another ton under pressure situation" and scored 36 in 2nd innings

    just swap the names of dravid and sachin here in the scorecard,

    now people would've said,"yet another ton under losing cause" and when it was a "pressure situation" in the 2nd innings sachin choked scoring just 36 runs.Sachin is selfish people wouldn't even be talking about dravid here when he scored 34 and 12 resp. in both the innings.

  • p on July 25, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    Here's the figures in major Test playing nations OUTSIDE of the Subcontinent (Non "flat" tracks) for the 2 Greatest modern day batsmen .

    AUS SRT- 58.5 Lara -41.9

    SA SRT - 46.4 Lara - 46.7

    NZ SRT - 49.5 Lara - 36.9

    ENG SRT - 62 Lara - 48.8 ..............SO, if Tendulkar is a "flat track bully"...where in the world does this leave poor Lara???

  • Parthasarathy on July 24, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    Thanks Andrew, the Indian media, experts, ex-cricketers all made out that he was unconquerable till that ball and looking in sublime touch to get the 100th 100 shadowing the 100 the Great Wall of India scored.

  • Dummy4 on July 24, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    cricinfo comments are comedy gold.

  • googl on July 24, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    @ravichakra- Dravid did the same thing yesterday, if you have watched it sir. He was not guarding the tailenders. In fact most of the indian batsmen are selfish, and play for their own records. I was shocked to see even Sachin doing the same. I never understood why. They need to learn from the greats like Lara, on how he guarded Ambrose and won the match for WI.

  • Dummy4 on July 24, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    @5wombats - If each and every innings would give an indication of reality, ICC rankings would change after every innings played in every test. What happened to England in the Adelaide test of 2006? Huge lead in first innings only to lost the test by 9 or so wickets after crumbling like a pack of cards in the second innings????? Lets wait till the series is over to get the REALITY CHECKS!!!!

  • Samad on July 24, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    I don't even see the point of the negative talk about Tendulkar, the man has 99 international centuries and shows no signs of slowing, that is monumental and any talk about him being a lion just at home and a flat track bully is garbage. He is the man who made a mark on batting, has earned the respect of fans and bowlers all over the world, even in my home city of Lahore children want to be like him. Tremlett is a wonderful talent and I hope he builds it up more and more, people should appreciate greatness and talent and encourage it, I don't understand the negativity in this world.

  • Parthasarathy on July 24, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    To all those who look up overseas averages as a statistical measure to justify performances, firstly, one should understand it is a poor statistical measure. Secondly, a measure of performance should be the significance of the innings whether it is for a victory or a save. People who cite Sachin's century in SA should realize that the match result did not change because of that century - most of his centuries are similar. It was only a matter of when v/s whether. Worst still he remained not out by exposing the tail to the fiery bowlers once he reached his century. That would have boosted his average a few notches higher but for the team that 100 was meaningless to say the least. Compare that with the 100 scored by Dravid in WI. He could have easily remained not out and boosted his average, on the contrary he threw his wicket away to get some useful runs for the team.

  • El on July 24, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    Most of the folks here are armchair coaches. I am a south african, but calling Sachin a flat track bully is work of a brain dead. People might yet eat their words. Guy is great, stop pretending as if he has still to prove something.

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