England news November 24, 2011

Tremlett fighting back to fitness

ESPNcricinfo staff

Chris Tremlett, the England fast bowler, hopes to use his time with the England performance programme (EPP) in South Africa to prove his fitness and form ahead of England's Test series against Pakistan.

He has been sidelined with a back injury since the first Test against India in July and will be joined in Potchefstroom by fellow pace bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who both missed the recent tour of India, and Graham Onions as he continues to edge towards a full England return after a serious back injury in 2010.

"The next two weeks I'll be in the indoor school and building up to 80%," Tremlett told Surrey TV. "When I get to South Africa I'll hopefully be able to bowl flat out from day one and with the conditions out there and bowling outside hopefully it'll be the perfect place to do it.

"I've had two or three months rest and recuperation," he added. "It's been a bit tedious, the training I've had to do. I've had to build up my training each week but I'm at the stage where I've been running for the last month and my strength work's really gone up and I'm ok to bowl now."

Having taken 36 wickets in seven Tests since his return in Perth last year, Tremlett is targeting a return to Test cricket against Pakistan but knows there is no certainty of a slot in the team.

"All fingers crossed I get through South Africa with no injury worries," he said. "Hopefully I get selected on the tour. There's no guarantees these days but in my mind it'll all be fine, I can go to Dubai, find my form I had last year and get back in the team. Obviously there are other guys knocking on the door so I need to find my form pretty quickly."

"The last time I went out to play I was bowling well. It doesn't help that you don't bowl for a few months but at the same time my confidence is still very high even though I've had an injury so it's just a case of getting the form I had as quickly as possible.

"I'm back in the nets now back going through my action. It's just trying to remember all the little things and nit-pick everything together as quick as I can and hopefully bowl as well as I was before the injury."

Tremlett was aiming to return for the Oval Test against India, in August, but failed a fitness Test which was the start of a much longer rehabilitation.

"It was frustrating at the time. The diagnosis of my back was a bit more serious then I first thought. But at the same time it's been nice to have a break and make sure I get everything right," he said. "As a year as a whole it's been great, obviously it was frustrating to miss out on the last few Test matches but now I'm just looking ahead, trying to be positive for next year."

England travel to UAE for a three-Test series against Pakistan in January, followed by four ODIs and three Twenty20s, before a two-Test series against Sri Lanka beginning at the end of March.