Chris Tremlett and Co are ready to hit the heights Down Under again

Despite an average county season, the Surrey quick tells Richard Edwards why he will relish teaming up with England’s tall guys on Aussie pitches

The last time England won back-to-back Ashes series on Australian soil, Queen Victoria was on the throne and the first season of the Football League was still seven months away.

The idea that England would still be trying to repeat that feat a full 125 years later, would surely have been dismissed as a tall story.

Now, though, as England’s giant pace attack prepares to leave these shores for an assault on a fourth successive Ashes series win, the chance of Alastair Cook’s men finally ending that miserable run is a very real possibility.

If cricket’s oldest contest was decided by the heights of the respective pace attacks, England’s bowlers would have little need to board the plane at Heathrow on 23 October.

As it is, Boyd Rankin, Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett – all 6ft 7in or taller – will walk up those British Airways steps knowing that when the first Test in Brisbane rolls around two of them are likely to be carrying the drinks, rather than a threat to Australia’s flaky batting line-up.

Of the hulking triumvirate, Rankin is perhaps the man in pole position having performed so impressively during England’s otherwise disappointing one-day series against Australia.

Finn and Tremlett, meanwhile, will head Down Under for their second Ashes tours well aware they are well and truly under the spotlight.

Tremlett was selected for the squad ahead of Graham Onions, despite a season in which he took just 32 wickets costing 33 runs a piece for Surrey. In comparison, the Durham man claimed 66 at a cost of just 18 for the county champions.

The Surrey player, though, has been picked with his previous Ashes heroics very much in mind – claiming 17 wickets in three Tests at an average of just 23.35 in 2010-11 – and with pitches Down Under likely to contain far more spice than those we saw in England this summer, he is confident that he is tailor-made for conditions in Australia.

“The pitches I’ve played on here this year have generally been very slow, bar a couple,” says Tremlett. “The one up at Durham had a bit of pace and some nip while the one at Headingley also went through. Apart from that, I didn’t play on wickets with any real pace.

“I played at Perth, which is one wicket which does have excessive amounts of bounce, in the last Ashes series and generally the wickets are quicker and skiddier, so when you get an edge it carries to the keeper.

“A lot of the time this summer I was getting the edges but they were falling short. You have to go about your bowling in a different way here, it’s all about bowling at the stumps and trying to get more bowled and LBWs.

“You can get wickets in more conventional ways in Australia, with the slips coming into play a lot more. The wickets there are certainly quicker and you’re going to get that carry.”

If Tremlett’s performance on a lively pitch at Chester-le-Street is anything to go by, then England may have pulled a masterstroke with his inclusion – almost two years after he played his most recent Test match.

In that match, which Surrey lost by an innings, he took career-best figures of 8 for 96 in 33 hostile overs. Most encouragingly, he was running in as hard at the tail-end of a marathon stint as he was at the start.

The sight of a rock-hard Australian pitch can only add an additional spring to his step.

“You look at the guys who are there and, in terms of height, you’ve probably got the four [including Stuart Broad] tallest guys on the circuit,” Tremlett says. “We can all get it down there and having Boyd Rankin in the mix – and I actually think he might be the tallest of all of us – means that we we’ll have plenty of height and hostility on those wickets.

“If we can bowl well and bowl accurately, then it’s that type of bowling that generally comes to the fore in Australian conditions. You look at guys like Glenn McGrath, he wasn’t the quickest but he was very accurate and bowled good areas. If he got edges on those wickets then, generally, they carried.”

 At the age of 32, Tremlett, who is just one short of 50 Test scalps, is well aware that this could be his last chance to make a lasting impact at international level.

It is often forgotten that he was 12th man for his country for the majority of the 2005 series in which England regained the Ashes for the first time in a generation.

He could even be viewed as the last man standing after a season during which Simon Jones, Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison retired.

After missing such a large chunk of his career through injury, though, Tremlett is determined to make the most of a call-up that was as unexpected as it was welcome.

“Being honest, it’s a different sort of feeling this time around,” he said. “Getting the call a few years ago was very exciting because I hadn’t been involved in the England set-up for a few years. It was a bit unexpected... I thought I might scrape into the development side and force my way into the Ashes squad that way.

“Now I’m a bit more experienced, I’ve had more time out of the game. It’s hard to describe how I feel this time, I guess I’m relieved that I’ve been given another opportunity to go to Australia and that all the hard work I’ve put in in the last 12 months has been worth it.

“I’ll be looking to replicate the way I bowled last time when I’m over there again this winter.”

England will hope he can hit those heights again.

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Wonnacott dancing the pasadoble
TVStrictly Come Dancing The Result
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
<p>Jonathan Ross</p>
<p>Jonathan Ross (or Wossy, as he’s affectionately known) has been on television and radio for an extraordinarily long time, working on a seat in the pantheon of British presenters. Hosting Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for nine years, Ross has been in everything from the video game Fable to Phineas and Ferb. So it’s probably not so surprising that Ross studied at Southampton College of Art (since rebranded Southampton Solent), a university known nowadays for its media production courses.</p>
<p>However, after leaving Solent, Ross studied History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of the UCL, a move that was somewhat out of keeping with the rest of his career. Ross was made a fellow of the school in 2006 in recognition of his services to broadcasting.</p>
TV

Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new

News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Arts and Entertainment
filmsIt's nearly a wrap on Star Wars: Episode 7, producer reveals
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand labelled 'left-wing commie scum' by Fox News
TV
News
Paul Nuttall, left, is seen as one of Ukip's key weapons in selling the party to the North of England
i100
Arts and Entertainment
BBC's Antiques Roadshow uncovers a TIE fighter pilot helmet from the 1977 Star Wars film, valuing it at £50,000
TV

TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow

News
people

Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'

News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past