England spirit encourages Tredwell
The threat of an early World Cup exit inspired England to a remarkable victory over West Indies – and gives James Tredwell the belief that they can thrive in the knockout stages.
England engineered a sensational 18-run win yesterday from a position of little apparent hope to extend their campaign until at least this weekend.
Victory for South Africa over Bangladesh tomorrow or India against West Indies on Sunday will be enough to see England into the quarter-finals, and Tredwell trusts their nerve-wracking progress thus far will bodes well should they get there.
Not one of their six Group B games could be described as predictable, although Tredwell’s nerves may be in better shape than most of his colleagues given that yesterday’s match in Chennai was his first of the competition.
"It must be entertaining to watch at home,” said the off-spinner, named man of the match for his decisive haul of 4-48.
“I hope we don't have too many games like that over the next two weeks, but a couple of close ones might stand us in good stead for what's to come.
"We have done what we needed to do in that last game. We need to play better, first and foremost. But if those situations do come up again, we know what to do."
Tredwell is not the first player in recent days to draw parallels with England’s World Twenty20 triumph last year, when they recovered from a faltering start to lift a first global trophy in their history.
However, with every match that passes the likelihood of England equalling that feat grows greater. For Tredwell, the equation is simple.
"It's similar to the Caribbean in the Twenty20s - almost out, then you get over the line and into that must-win phase,” he said.
"Three games and the World Cup could be ours. Sometimes that brings the best out in people, and we hope that's the case with us.”
Tredwell is wary of looking beyond the next couple of days, but admits the wait is hardly conducive to a stress-free mind.
"That's the worst thing," he said, acknowledging a nervy weekend while they wait in Delhi. "We'd obviously just like to be through now.
"We can only hope those results go our way and we can go from strength to strength in the next couple of games."
Whatever happens this weekend and beyond, Tredwell’s performance yesterday ensured this World Cup will be memorable on a personal level.
Introduced after only six overs with West Indies already past 50, Tredwell accounted for Chris Gayle with his fifth delivery - his maiden ODI wicket - before removing Devon Smith in his next over and Darren Bravo in his fourth.
In the midst of that, he was taken for two sixes by Darren Sammy, who added another shortly after, and came in for similarly rough treatment from Andre Russell later on before showing his character – and exacting revenge – by making him his fourth victim.
He also played a useful role with the bat, sharing a 41-run stand with Luke Wright for the seventh wicket that helped England to a respectable total. In keeping with an eventful evening, he was run out after a horrible mix-up.
"I just try to take the guy at the other end out of it a little bit," he said of his approach to bowling at batsmen with such explosive intentions.
"You have your plan and try to execute it to the best of your ability. If he ends up whacking that for six or four, then fair play.
"But if you do everything right, you hope it will come out your way. Ultimately you've just got to produce your skill, which you practise tirelessly in the nets.
"There was a bit more pressure on me, I suppose, because I hadn't taken a wicket in ODIs.
"That (yesterday) is the toughest it can get. You don't want to be in those situations all the time, but you know if you come through them you're doing all right.”