England in Sri Lanka 2011-12

Flower phone call gave Tredwell belief

Andrew McGlashan

February 28, 2012

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James Tredwell enjoyed a useful start to his Test career, Bangladesh v England, 2nd Test, Dhaka, 1st day, March 20, 2010
James Tredwell took six wickets in his only Test so far © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: England tour of Sri Lanka
Teams: England

James Tredwell, who was named in England's Test squad for their tour of Sri Lanka, has said that an end-of-season phone call from Andy Flower, the England team director, gave him the belief that he could earn an England recall. It was an ideal early birthday gift and Tredwell is determined to grasp the opportunity even though he could mix more drinks than bowl overs.

Tredwell, who was told of his call-up on the eve of his 30th birthday on Monday, is one of four spinners named in England's 16-man squad for the two-Test series, alongside incumbents Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar plus Samit Patel, the Nottinghamshire allrounder, who replaced Eoin Morgan. Tredwell last played for England at the 2011 World Cup and had seemingly drifted down the pecking order when Panesar was recalled for the series against Pakistan while young spinners, such as Scott Borthwick and Danny Briggs, were given chances in the one-day game.

"I had a call from Andy Flower at the end of the summer outlining England's plans and that I was still very much part of them," Tredwell told ESPNcricinfo. "That really drives you on if you know you are still in their thoughts. You know that if anything happens to the guys in possession you could get a call."

Tredwell has not required his fellow spinners to suffer an injury or loss of form to earn a place. Instead England's selectors have decided to give themselves cover for both Swann and Panesar. However, it will need one of those two - most likely Swann - to be ruled out of a Test for Tredwell to earn a second Test cap but that doesn't mean he won't be trying to put pressure on his team-mates in the lead up to the first match in Galle.

"I may be going just as cover, I'm not sure, but I'll certainly be going there to impress and get a game in my own right," he said. "Pakistan went in with three spinners and they did well in the series [in the UAE] so they [England] may be looking down that route."

Tredwell is also seen as a solid cricketer to call on at the last minute, which is the most likely scenario for backup players on tour, instead of throwing in the raw talent of one of the younger spinners who played on the various Lions tours and one-day series during the last few months.

"I'm a few years older and I've been through some highs and lows which stands you in good stead," Tredwell said. "It's great that those others have had a go in the one-day format but Test cricket is slightly different and they've gone for a slightly older man. I need to go out there and put my hat in the ring during practice."

Tredwell has had a curious international career to date with one Test, against Bangladesh in Dhaka, in which he took commendable match figures of 6 for 181 as a partner for Swann, and five one-day internationals. His previous England appearance came in a city he'll shortly be visiting again, Colombo, in the World Cup quarter-final against Sri Lanka where the hosts surged to victory by 10 wickets.

In the game before that Tredwell had produced his finest performance in an England shirt with 4 for 48 in the crunch group match against West Indies. It was his first game of the tournament - and he had yet to take an ODI wicket - but he claimed key top-order wickets, including Chris Gayle's, as England secured a nailbiting 18-run victory to keep themselves in the tournament for a few more days. It is a match still clear in Tredwell's memory and one that provides him with confidence.

"This recall was a little bit of a surprise, I guess, having not been involved during the winter, but equally having played last year and done well in my second last game at the World Cup the belief was still there that I can do it at that level. With the tours the way they were this winter I knew that something may crop up."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by landl47 on (March 1, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

Tredwell's an interesting choice, because it's difficult to see any circumstances in which he gets a game. If England go in with two spinners and two seamers. it'll be Swann and Panesar. If England go in with 3 seamers , it's Swann and maybe Patel as an all-rounder. If England go in with 3 spinners, it'll be Swann, Panesar and Patel, because Patel is much the better bat. The only way I see Tredwell getting a game is if two England spinners are injured or if one is injured and England wants a side with 3 spinners- both scenarios very unlikely in a 2-game series.If the idea is to use him as a net bowler to give the batsmen a good work-out while not overworking the first-choice spinners, why pick an off-spinner? SL's best spinner is Herath, a left-arm orthodox finger-spinner. Surely Briggs would have been more useful in that role? Anyway, I wish Tredwell good luck; he brings a good work ethic and 100% effort as his attributes, even if maybe not quite the natural talent of some others.

Posted by sathu77 on (February 29, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

all the best man.. i remember that match against windies!! you can really give pressure to swann!!

Posted by butterBum on (February 29, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

i remember JT coming to bowl within first 10 overs and still turning the ball considerably into the right hand batmen ..His inclusion in the side should strengthen english spin attack and send right message no matter what domestic performance and talents are not really neglected . I also feel english should not be decived by trusting only in their spinners, this tour offers a real challenge for their pace bowlers to try their tricks .....broad ,finn with height and pace should be their real trump cards! Add aggressive batting style ....i beleive english can win this test series .

Posted by butterBum on (February 29, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

i remember JT coming to bowl within first 10 overs and still turning the ball considerably into the right hand batmen ..His inclusion in the side should strengthen english spin attack and send right message no matter what domestic performance and talents are not really neglected . I also feel english should not be decived by trusting only in their spinners, this tour offers a real challenge for their pace bowlers to try their tricks .....broad ,finn with height and pace should be their real trump cards! Add aggressive batting style ....i beleive english can win this test series .

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 29, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

@Nutcutlet, hard to argue with that. I suspect that James Tredwell has been picked as a specialist net bowler to work the batsmen really hard against the spin threat, in the knowledge that, if he is required, he could step into the Test side at a few minutes notice and not let anyone down.

Posted by northumbriannomad on (February 29, 2012, 10:03 GMT)

I watched him at Canterbury for a couple of years while I was living there, and he's an impressive and very solid cricketer. Useful bat too - he has been known to open the batting for Kent, and not just as a pinch-hitter. As Nutcutlet says, it's good to see a solid county pro getting his chance. Best of luck to him.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (February 29, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

With fringe selections, as with the more obvious ones, we can be sure that Andy Flower & Geoff Miller know precisely what they are doing. The selection of James Tredwell is a clear indication that JT is known to be more than the highly competent and combative player on the county circuit that we have appreciated for some years, but a man who will contribute to the team ethos and maintain the enviable camararderie that is an outstanding feature of Team England these days. He may not get a game, but if he should, he will not let England down. Anyway, it's great to see a solid county pro. get his recognition. It sends a good message to many others - 'They also serve who only stand and wait.' Enjoy the well earned trip, James!

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 8:13 GMT)

Good luck mate, I wish you all the best

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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