Fairytale return for Tremlett the big friendly giant

The Gentle Giant came back yesterday and let his bowling do the talking. With nary a sledge or a snarl in sight, Chris Tremlett provided England with a perfect beginning to the third Test.

Three years after being discarded following three Test matches against India, Tremlett came back into the team as a replacement for the injured Stuart Broad. Injury and poor form have played their part in his subsequent non-selection but it was an open secret that many inside cricket felt Tremlett was simply too nice.

But from his first over yesterday, the second of the match, he demonstrated that his other credentials were what mattered. It was an extremely adept piece of fast bowling and if he was given every assistance to make sure it was effective by Australia's left-handed opening batsman, Phillip Hughes, that did not diminish its quality.

Tremlett let Hughes have some short stuff early in the over and then bowled him one of much fuller length which went through a crooked bat and bowled him. It was as if Hughes had predicted his own downfall. Only two days earlier he had said that it was often not the bouncers which got him but the follow-up ball. So it proved.

The demeanour of the Gentle Giant was in stark contrast to the man with whom he shared the new ball, Jimmy Anderson. While Tremlett gives the impression that he might be about to ask the opposition batsmen if the wife and kids are all right, Anderson does not do niceties. He is perpetually on their case, as he showed yesterday when, having dismissed Brad Haddin, he turned in the direction of Mitchell Johnson at the non-striker's end and put his finger to his lips in shushing motion.

Although Tremlett finished with a serviceable 3 for 63 from 23 overs, it was the splendid opening spell that marked his day. He admitted that he awoke yesterday feeling extremely nervous, for he must have thought his international career had been and gone. England had played 41 Tests since his last appearance.

Only Broad's abdominal injury, which has ruled him out of the rest of the tour, has allowed Tremlett his opportunity. "There has been a little bit of frustration along the way but I have worked hard to get back where I want to be," said Tremlett. "I moved to Surrey last year and enjoyed things there. My aspiration was always to play for England again.

"People can say what they want about my temperament but I think it comes from within. If you want something badly enough you work out what to do, and I think I have figured that out over the years."

The fear was that Broad would be missed more than England were allowing themselves to say. Although he had taken only two wickets in the opening two Test matches before breaking down he had played a significant enforcement role. He had kept the batsmen honest.

Tremlett, always in possession of natural assets of height and accuracy which make a worrisome fast bowler, seems to have added other elements to his game during the long absence.

"It was a combination of having a few injuries, my body letting me down and things not going quite the way I wanted," he said. "I always wanted to play for England but it has taken a bit of time to get back to where I wanted to be. I have grown up a bit, I am more experienced as a cricketer. I know my game a lot more. I just think I'm a better bowler than I was three years ago. I feel fitter than ever, as strong as ever and I'm very happy with my action which is as repetitive as it has ever been."

The crowd, packed with England supporters, did the Gentle Giant's roaring for him. He did the rest. "That was the most special game I have played in so far," he said. "It was an amazing atmosphere and a very enjoyable day."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living