England on tenterhooks as Tremlett faces fitness test

Hamstring injury makes Ashes hero a doubt for second Test so able deputy Bresnan is on standby

To general lack of surprise, the England fast bowler, Chris Tremlett, failed to train yesterday ahead of the second Test. With equal expectancy, the team management tried to make light of the break, presumably trying to forestall suggestions that he may be doubtful for the eagerly-awaited encounter with India which starts at Trent Bridge tomorrow.

The official line that Tremlett was "managing his workload" certainly made it difficult to drum up evidence that he is in serious trouble. But then Tremlett would be a serious miss.

Excellently though he bowled at Lord's, especially on the final day when he might easily have had more than his one wicket as England won by 196 runs, he was struggling at times. When he strode back to his mark he often rubbed the back of his leg and briefly left the field. The official reason is that he has a tight hamstring.

In a few short months, Tremlett has become one of the first names on the England team sheet. A reserve when he was picked in the squads to tour Australia last winter, having been overlooked for more than three years, he came back an Ashes hero, an authentic hit-the-deck-and-make-them-squirm fast bowler and a character transformed from the one who once might have fallen down in a breeze.

His absence seems improbable unless England feel they can take no chances with such a delicate part of the speed merchant's anatomy. It would be a test of their strength in depth and Tim Bresnan, who is in the squad of 12, should be an able replacement. What he would not provide is Tremlett's disconcerting bounce.

Jimmy Anderson, who took 5 for 65 in the second innings at Lord's and is now 10th on the all-time list of England Test wicket-takers, reflected yesterday on the potency of the bowling attack.

"We talk about it before, the plan is to create pressure and stop them scoring and you can't do that if one guy's doing it from one end and the other guy is going for four an over," he said. "I don't think it matters who you bowl with. You saw Tim Bresnan do a good job of it in Australia. I think it's the fact we've used six or seven bowlers the last few years, we're used to playing with each other and spending time with each other and we do talk a lot about the game when we're not playing together so I think it doesn't really matter who plays."

Anderson now has 226 Test wickets and may easily overtake Darren Gough (229), Andrew Caddick (234) and Alec Bedser (236) by the end of this series to move into seventh position in the England all-time rankings. But having come back from serious injury early in his career, Anderson knows nothing comes easily.

"Especially as a bowler you never know when your next injury is going to come. I've seen people get horrible injuries that shorten their careers, I've seen Simon Jones, he easily could have got 300 Test wickets and unfortunately his career has been shortened by injury. So you've got to enjoy each time you go out on the field for England."

Anderson has also assumed the No 2 position in the world Test bowling standings. Though he would like to be No 1, he felt that his recent elevation had offered something of much greater significance.

"Not as important as overtaking Swanny, that is what I was focused on!" he said. And for once Graeme Swann who now resides at No 3 was not around to give his opinion. Dale Steyn of South Africa remains well ensconced at No 1.

These are exhilarating times to be an England cricketer. "We saw five days of a ground sold out at Lord's, that's exciting in itself – there's not been many day fives in Test matches in England sold out in recent years," said Anderson. "Hopefully people are getting excited about it because we're certainly getting excited about it."

Anderson at Trent Bridge

* In four Tests in Nottingham, England's king of swing has taken 28 wickets at an average of just 15.89, including four five-wicket hauls.

* His best innings figures are 7 for 43, against New Zealand in 2008.

His best match figures are 11 for 71, against Pakistan last year.

* The Lancashire bowler's Test economy rate at the ground is just 2.87 runs per over and his strike rate is a superb 33.1 balls per wicket.

* Anderson is fourth in the list of Test match wicket-takers at the ground, behind Shane Warne (29) and Fred Trueman (33), and Alec Bedser (41) – and he has a superior bowling average to all those above him.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory