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August 9, 2011
Chris Tremlett has been ruled out of the third against India at Edgbaston having failed to recover from the back injury that forced him to miss the previous match at Trent Bridge.
He had been included in the 13-man squad for Wednesday's Test but wasn't able to train on Monday or Tuesday, so there was no chance of him being considered. An ECB update added he "will receive ongoing treatment ahead of the fourth Test".
Tremlett initially suffered a hamstring injury towards the end of the Lord's Test and then went down with a back spasm during training the day before the Trent Bridge match started. With the final Test starting at The Oval after only a three day gap, it remains doubtful whether Tremlett will play any further part in this series.
Andrew Strauss said: "It's sad for Chris that he has a bulging disc in his back and that should clear up sooner or later, but this Test has come too soon."
It means that Tim Bresnan will retain his place for Edgbaston after a superb all-round performance last week where he scored 90 and claimed a career-best 5 for 48 in the second innings. Steven Finn is also part of the squad but is unlikely to be considered given the success of the current unit in securing a 2-0 series lead.
"One of the great things is people have come in and performed," Strauss said. "Tim got his chance because Chris, who had done brilliantly, was injured and he took it with both hands. Ravi Bopara is coming in for this game and he's got the chance to do something similar."
The pressing concern for Strauss though, even more than injuries, is England's tendency to slip up when a big victory is in sight. Whether the Ashes loss in Headingley 2009, or again in Perth over the winter, England have had trouble wrapping up a series in the past. This time, though, Strauss thinks England will learn from the experience.
"I certainly thought we learnt from lessons of Headingley in '09 because I think we started looking at the outcome of the game rather than starting well," he said. "Since then we've been keen to keep everyone's feet on the ground whether winning or losing. This is one of those circumstances.
"There is no point looking too far ahead. The rankings are not at the forefront of our minds right at the moment. What is at the forefront of our minds is starting this Test match well and hopefully getting into a position to win it at the end of this week."
Despite the measured talk from the captain himself, the groundswell of opinion since Trent Bridge is that Strauss's England side are one of the best in the country's recent history. Andrew Flintoff was one who insisted the current side are better than the 2004-05 vintage that Flintoff featured in. Strauss, however, rejected the idea.
"Comparisons are odious and not all that helpful," he said. "When you are involved in a side, it makes no difference whether people say if the side is as good as another side or not. It makes no difference to your preparation for a Test match at all. It's not something I spend any time thinking about because if I did, I would subconsciously taking my eyes off what's important for us as a side."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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