England Lions v New Zealanders, The Rose Bowl May 9, 2008

Short-pitched attack planned - Tremlett

Chris Tremlett is aiming to put pressure on the England selectors during the summer (file photo) © Getty Images
Chris Tremlett has said New Zealand should be prepared for a short-pitched attack during the first Test after England Lions gave the batting line-up a working over on the second day at The Rose Bowl. There was one major exception for New Zealand as Aaron Redmond compiled a career-best 139, but Tremlett wasn't overly convinced.

Redmond took a blow from Graham Onions and also a couple of bruising hits on the body from Tremlett. "At times it didn't look as though he fancied it too much so we got stuck into him but he's got the bulk of their runs and has played well at the end of the day," Tremlett said.

"On a couple of occasions, the way he reacted to it, he didn't look too comfortable against the short ball and I think that's quite obvious from our point of view so we tested him. I'm sure those messages will go across to the boys for the first Test."

During the series in New Zealand the short ball was a tactic England tried with mixed results. Stuart Broad used it well in Napier, but sometimes it was overdone to players like Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum who weren't afraid to attack.

Redmond, who is now in line for a Test debut at Lord's, said the short stuff is nothing less than he expected. "It's all part and parcel of being an opener. If I was a fast bowler I would run in and bowl short to any batsman, it's just the way they are. It's also good practice for the future games."

Tremlett has been accused of not always bending his back but he was the pick of the bowlers on the second day. Onions produced some nippy away swing, but it was the bounce from Tremlett that caught the attention, and not only of New Zealand's batsmen. "I'm certainly happy with my first couple of spells from the Pavilion End, I lacked a bit of rhythm from the other end but it was generally a pretty good day," he said. "It's probably not the best I've bowled all season but it's good to put my name in the hat."

He doesn't believe, though, there is much of chance forcing his way into the Test line-up with James Anderson, Matthew Hoggard - who didn't impress here despite three late wickets - and Andrew Flintoff vying for a place.

"There's lots of competition. Anderson got some wickets today so he's obviously bowling well and in contention for the first Test. [Stuart] Broad and [Ryan] Sidebottom bowled well in New Zealand so their places probably aren't up for grabs so it's just about being consistent and knocking on the door. Realistically I probably don't think I've got a chance of playing in the first Test and the other thing is that Freddie might be back as well."

However, last year a strong performance for the Lions against India earned him a call-up to the squad and he played all three Tests of that series, impressing at stages against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. A difficult winter followed where he wasn't selected for the Sri Lanka tour and then got injured after being a late replacement for the Test party in New Zealand when places became available.

"I'd only really been bowling in the nets and hadn't a chance to play any games. Then unfortunately I got injured. It was disappointing that I had to go home, but if my body had held up there would been a good opportunity but hopefully I'll get a game this summer.

"Last year it [the Lions game] got me in the frame against India and then I got called up and played in the first Test. These matches are important and you try to do as well as you can. Hopefully it shows the selectors what you capable of and that you are on form."

Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer at Cricinfo