Anderson return delights Tremlett
Chris Tremlett saluted the instant impact made by James Anderson on a day when they shared the England bowling honours.
They were almost solely responsible for undermining Sri Lanka’s first innings on a truncated opening day in the final npower Test at the Rose Bowl, reducing them to 39 for four between lengthy rain breaks.
That Thilan Samaraweera and Prasanna Jayawardene led the tourists to 81 without further loss by the close served to take only a limited amount of gloss off the performance of Tremlett and Broad.
Tremlett ended the day with figures of 2-17 from 11 overs, but Anderson’s haul of 2-24 from 16 overs on his return from a side injury earned high praise from his fast-bowling colleague.
“It was impressive for Jimmy to come back in without any overs,” said Tremlett. “The Twenty20 game he was going to play in got rained off, so he’s come straight back in and bowled a lot of overs in a short space of time.
“Sixteen overs out of 38 is a hard job, and he hit his straps straightaway, so credit to him. It’s great to have him back. He speaks for himself with his skills and he keeps it tight.
“I enjoy bowling with him and we seem to bowl well in partnerships. I feel we did that well today, keeping it tight.
“With the swing he offers, whereas me and Broady (Stuart Broad) are back of a length, he pitches the ball up more than us and swings it both ways. His skills and variation are good for the team.”
While Tremlett concedes England were “a bit lacklustre at times” – by common consent, they bowled too short and too wide, problems that afflicted them at Lord’s – he insists they can be pleased with their work on a day interrupted by two lengthy stoppages and limited to just 38 overs.
“We’re happy with four wickets,” he added. “Even though we’d have liked to get a couple more wickets today, we didn’t feel like we let them get away.
“It’s been a bit frustrating getting on and off, and it’s always a bit tough to switch yourself on, but we did a pretty good job.
“We were a bit lacklustre at times with our line and lengths, but (it was) an improvement from Lord’s.
Tremlett was buoyed not only by the warm welcome he received from the fans who spent a decade supporting him as a Hampshire player, but also by an unexpectedly pace pitch.
This was his first-class return to the Rose Bowl following his move to Surrey last season, and he can claim to have paid them back in the currency he knows best.
“I played here for a long time, so it was a nice reception and nice of the Hampshire fans to welcome me back,” Tremlett said.
“I like to think I offered a lot to the county and gave the fans some good viewing at times. (It was) nice to see some familiar faces.
“The fans were loud and seemed like they had a good day despite the rain. Me getting a couple of wickets will make them happier.
“A couple of years ago the wickets were pretty low and slow and, by all accounts, speaking to the Hampshire guys today, they’ve been pretty similar this season.
“I was pretty surprised to get something so green and with that carry. I’m hoping we can make the most of those conditions when we get out there again.”
Little blame could be attached to Mahela Jayawardene when he was caught behind off a beauty from Tremlett that bounced and left him, but Kumar Sangakkara’s disappointment was clear after he perished chasing a wide one from Anderson. They managed only six runs between them.
While Atapattu claims the burden of captaincy is not affecting Sangakkara’s mental state, he admits their late arrivals on the tour following Indian Premier League duty may have contributed to their poor form.
“When you're in England the first thing that should happen is the adjustment,” he said. “People coming from 50-over and then 20-over versions doesn’t really help.
“It takes a bit of time, and you're in a country where your technique is going to be tested.
“It doesn't happen overnight; you need some time. This is why players need to get to a place like England, play a few practice games, get runs and get into Test level.”