The 'nearly man' Tremlett has arrived at last

There was profoundly little for England to celebrate yesterday as they came crashing to earth here. But, as the players left the field having dismissed Australia for the second time in three days, they paused to make way for a weary Chris Tremlett to lead them off. He had deserved his place in the sun by taking 5 for 87 in the innings and 8 for 150 in the match. Tremlett has been England's "nearlyman". Aged 29, he seems to have arrived at last.

He was on the fringe of the 2005 Ashes team; and was invalided home from the New Zealand tour in 2008. He did play three Tests against India, but that was in 2007. When a new face was required in England's pace attack,Steve Finn was preferred to Tremlett. He finally made it back into the England team here at Perth because of the injury to Stuart Broad. Although he is not the sort of character who bears a grudge, he must have wondered whether he would ever make it. His victims here were Australia's top men. More than two-thirds of their runs were scored by Shane Watson and Mike Hussey. Tremlett took both their wickets.

Watson was lbw, one of four wickets that were bowled, lbw or caught behind. That defines his quality. He is fast, accurate and deploys his height (he is 6ft 7in) to get bounce from a pitch that encourages fast bowling, especially when the team plan is to bowl short, as it was yesterday. It will be surprising if he does not become a fixture for the rest of the Ashes.

To argue that there must be more to him than meets the eye is clearly not a reference to his size, but to his undemonstrative, self-contained personality. He did say at the close-of-play press conference that yesterday was "probably one of the greatest days of my life" and that it has still to sink in. But this was a passionless response, and he gave the impression of being somewhat divorced from reality. In the way of players who cling to clichés, he insisted that England could still win today, though, to be fair, he did qualify this by saying that "obviously, it's a long shot". It would have been a favour to him if the management – say, Andy Flower – had met the press after a torrid day.

Tremlett has a long, smooth face, with high cheekbones, a strong jaw, and fast bowler's muscular arms. His pedigree is saturated by cricket; his grandfather Maurice was an England fixture and his father played county cricket before becoming Hampshire's director of cricket. One reason why Chris left to join Surrey earlier in the year was to escape the comfortable embrace that Hampshire provided. Shane Warne, for example, found him a frustrating colleague: "I tried everything to get Tremlett to be more aggressive. He was just a bit soft," he said. The selectors worried that he had still to prove his worth.

He has put that part of his reputation to rest. In this Test, Tremlett has outbowled Steve Finn, a man of similar build and pace. Finn himself took three wickets to add to two in the first innings, but his propensity to leak runs has become a common criticism. It is quite likely that Finn will be dropped for the Melbourne Test, conceding his place to Tim Bresnan.

Some of the veterans of West Australian cricket commented on the absence of Broad, who, they said, could have been devilishly effective here. Tremlett added: "With age, I am naturally more aggressive." It is not clear where Tremlett gets it from, but, after yesterday's performance, the best Australian batsmen would be hard put to disagree.

Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003