Tremlett plots Oval route to recall
New Surrey signing Chris Tremlett believes bowling regularly at the Brit Oval can revive his England career.
Tremlett joined from Hampshire in January, dropping down to Division Two of the LV= County Championship, in an attempt to kick-start his career.
The towering 28-year-old, who has played for England in all three formats, was dogged by injuries during his time at the Rose Bowl.
Now he is desperate to put those problems behind him and benefit from the extra bounce that the Oval pitch offers.
Should he do so, he hopes success on the ground that traditionally hosts a Test each summer will bring him to the England selectors’ attention.
“I’ve played here a few times,” Tremlett, who made his competitive Surrey debut today, said. “Obviously its a very flat wicket, which we know, but it’s the sort of wicket you’re going to hopefully play Test cricket on.
“Having played a bit of Test cricket, I know the sort of wickets and, even though they are flat, they probably seam about more than some slow and low wickets. So I think it’s a good place to come.
“Hopefully it will bounce a bit more than the Rose Bowl did last year. The Rose Bowl over the years has gone from one extreme to the other.
“It was a bouncy, seamy wicket that has gone the other way - very low and slow - which maybe doesn’t suit my bowling quite so much.
“And that’s another reason why I made the move, but there’s lots of reasons why I moved. I’m just excited to be here. It’s a great place to be, just standing here and looking round.”
The last of Tremlett’s three Test caps was at the Oval - against India in 2007. He played in his only Twenty20 international later that summer and took his one-day international tally to nine in 2008.
His international debut came in an ODI at home to Bangladesh in 2005 - the summer when he was 12th man in all five Ashes Tests, including the Oval finale when Paul Collingwood became the 12th player England used that series.
Tremlett is understandably keen to be remembered for other reasons in an England shirt and hopes, in time, to earn another opportunity.
“It’s not what I’m thinking immediately. It’s something that’s at the back of my mind,” he admitted.
“It’s something that I’d love to do again. Playing for England - that’s the ultimate. So definitely, I still feel I’ve got something to offer to England. Eventually if I can get some wickets and stay fit then who knows?”
At closer to seven feet tall than six, Tremlett is well disposed to extract bounce on any responsive pitch.
With Steve Harmison’s omission from England’s winter tours, Tremlett feels there is a vacancy for a second tall seamer alongside Stuart Broad in the England attack, albeit one Steven Finn looks set to fill in the short term.
“I think I probably offer something different to most bowlers,” he said. “I’m probably the tallest bowler around.
“Harmison seems like he’s not really going to be involved any more. Broad’s quite a tall bowler, but it depends really.
“It’s all about taking wickets and for me staying fit because unfortunately I’ve got that tag on my head, so that’s all I’m thinking about though, trying to stay fit and take wickets and if England think I’ve got something to offer then that’s great because I feel I still have something to offer England.”
Tremlett was one of four high-profile signings Surrey made ahead of the season, along with off-spinner Gareth Batty and wicketkeeper-batsman Steven Davies from Worcestershire plus all-rounder Rory Hamilton-Brown, who returned from Sussex to captain his native county.
The paceman is close to overcoming a groin injury that forced him to miss Surrey’s pre-season programme, plus the championship opener at home to Derbyshire, and cannot wait to return to action.
“The signings we’ve made a very positive,” he added. “Gareth Batty, he did very well in Dubai; Steve Davies got a hundred in his first game [against Cambridge MCCU]. They’re very talented players.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to play soon and get out there and show what I can do as well. It’s all positive, Rory has brought a lot. He’s been very impressive from what I have seen so far.
“So hopefully it all goes well for a successful year and an improvement on last year, which was very disappointing.”