The Ashes: Chris Tremlett's waiting game for England

If England's attack stutters in the Ashes, the Surrey quick tells Richard Edwards he is fit and ready to step in

While England's bowlers were being mauled by Sri Lanka at The Oval on Thursday Chris Tremlett was running in for Surrey at one of the country's most picturesque grounds, in Arundel.

It will not have escaped his attention that events on his home patch could leave him sitting pretty when the selectors convene to select a squad for the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in just over three weeks' time.

Tremlett has not played for his country since England's Test defeat to Pakistan in Dubai in January last year but after back and knee surgery he's on the comeback trail once again.

England's chastening experience against the Sri Lankan top order in the Champions Trophy last week offered a reminder that this bowling attack can look ordinary if the ball doesn't swing.

Tremlett's pace allied to the awkward bounce he generates from his hulking 6ft 7in frame offers variety as well as threat.

To date, his county comeback has hardly demanded selection but an eight-wicket match haul against Derbyshire at the end of last month suggests he is finding the form which, for all too brief a period, made him one of the most dangerous bowlers in world cricket.

"I think it's coming together," he says. "I feel I'm getting back to bowling somewhere near my best. I just need a few catches to go to hand and to start getting the nicks again.

"The games come so fast during the season, it's just one game after another at the moment but the knee feels good. The body seems to have got better each game I've played. I struggled at the start, to recover and then back up spells the next day, but I think that's because I hadn't played for such a long time.

"There's still a little bit of soreness but generally things are looking pretty good. Each game I play I'm getting more confident and the body seems to be hardening up to four-day cricket and long days in the field."

That was particularly true at Guildford recently when Tremlett spent 168 overs watching Warwickshire compile an enormous 631 for 9 declared. England will hope to knock Australia's fragile top order over far more quickly than that when the main event of the summer begins on 10 July.

But although England's bowling line-up has a settled look to it – with Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn and Graeme Swann all likely to start the opening match at Trent Bridge – Tremlett knows that opportunities can present themselves during an Ashes series.

The former Hampshire man was handed the chance to establish himself in the England side after an injury to Broad in Australia two winters ago – and he grabbed it. Tremlett took 17 wickets in the series as England won on Australian soil for the first time since 1987, and he dismissed Michael Beer at Sydney to seal the deal.

Watching from the pavilion was Australia's then captain Ricky Ponting – a man who is now Tremlett's Surrey team-mate.

"Ricky has been great to have around," he says. "When Graeme Smith came in at the start of the season it gave the guys a big lift and now to have someone like Ricky is fantastic.

"In team meetings and seeing the way he goes about his work, the way he prepares, is brilliant for some of the young guys here.

"He came in at Derby and scored 190-odd – the only way they could get rid of him was to run him out. He really showed the way against Warwickshire as well when we really showed some guts to draw the game.

"He's a very impressive individual. Hopefully the Surrey guys will learn off him and when he goes back they can take away what he has done while he has been here.

"Personally, it's a bit surreal having him at slip shouting my name. The other day I went out to bat with him and although I only batted for five overs that's something I'll definitely remember."

Now, though, Tremlett needs to carry on jogging the memory of England coach Andy Flower, who has been in contact with Surrey and has been monitoring his recovery and progress on his return from injury.

"I know I'm in England thoughts. It's just up to me to make sure that I give myself the best chance possible of breaking back into the team," says Tremlett.

If England's bowling against Sri Lanka offers any indication, that might happen sooner rather than later.

Tremlett in numbers

2 Number of five-wicket Test hauls

17 Months since his last Test appearance

26.75 Tremlett's Test bowling average since his debut in July 2007

49 Wickets taken in his 11 Test matches

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
A poster by Durham Constabulary
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
Life and Style
Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
sportEngland vs New Zealand report
Amal Clooney has joined the legal team defending 'The Hooden Men'
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine