Ashes Betting – Can Chris Tremlett be England’s Top Bowler?

All the rumours and stories coming out of the UK media who are currently based in Australia are suggesting that Chris Tremlett is the shoe in for England’s much talked about third seamer at the Gabba later this week.

A lot of this opinion seems to be formed on the back of comments made by England bowling coach David Saker, but could it be a bluff to try and trick the Aussies?

Either way, it doesn’t appear to have made any difference in the betting, as Tremlett is still available at 8/1 to top the wicket taking charts for England.

That makes him joint fifth favourite along with Boyd Rankin, and significantly still behind Steven Finn, who is fourth favourite.

The news that Tim Bresnan could be available for the second Test could also be another reason why the odds on this market don’t appear to have changed on the back of the Tremlett rumours.

There are so many factors to take into account if betting on this market. If everyone is fit and well, Bresnan is generally the third seamer, but England clearly expect pace and bounce given their squad selection, which goes slightly against Bresnan.

The job of third seamer is also a precarious role in the team. If England have a bad Test, and the selectors feel the need to freshen things up, they are not going to drop Anderson, Broad or Swann, so that only leaves the third seamer’s position.

So even if Tremlett does start in Brisbane, the chances are that he won’t start all 5 Test matches. But then again, if Broad or Anderson get injured, he may well do.

These are probably just some of the reasons why Tremlett’s odds haven’t really changed on the back of this news. And it goes some way to showing why picking the Top England Ashes Bowler is such a hard call.

Is this the end for Chris Tremlett?

With the news that Chris Tremlett has flown home from the Pakistan series with yet another injury, I wonder have we maybe seen the last of him in an England shirt?

That might sound a bit extreme, but there are a number of reasons why I think this may be the end of his international career.

He is only 30, but he has had a lot of injuries over the years, a point which won’t be lost on the selectors.

He was out of the side in the summer with injury, and he is now out again injured. As a result of this the selectors might feel his old fitness frailties are coming back to haunt him.

This latest injury set back might just persuade the selectors to look to the future. There is now Steven Finn pushing hard for a recall, the return to fitness and form of Graham Onions, the emerging Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker, and not forgetting the man in possession of the shirt when he is fit – Tim Bresnan.

Onto the first days play of the 2nd test, and I’m sure that England would have settled for Pakistan finishing the day on 256/7 when they won the toss and elected to bat on a supposed flat, batsman’s paradise.

But with the dropped catches, I’m sure that Andrew Strauss will be disappointed to not have already bowled Pakistan out, Anderson’s drop off Misbah could be the most costly.

I was pleased to see Monty play, if the pitch was supposed to be flat and unresponsive to seam, then I didn’t see the point in playing three seamers. Pietersen would have ended up bowling a shed load of overs and all 3 seamers would have been rotated and under used.

At least England have shown they are prepared to stray away from their rigid tried and tested routine. Yes, it has got them to No1, but refusing to improvise a bit and adapt to conditions could see them quickly lose No1 status.

Today showed that England aren’t scared to change tactics, playing two spinners might not win them the game, but I believe it is the right move for this test match.

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Rose Bowl Honours for Tremlett

It was a sort of poetic justice for Chris Tremlett and Hampshire that the big man is the first to get his name on the Rose Bowl honours board and I’m sure that all the fans that gave him the rousing reception on Thursday will also approve.

This test match has further underlined just what an important part of this England side Tremlett has now become. Hopefully now Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower will see sense and finally install him as the new ball partner for James Anderson, as he certainly deserves that status.

It’s remarkable to think that he was only taken to the Ashes as cover – and if the reports were true, it was a bit touch and go if he was to even make that squad.

Tremlett now looks like he’s almost the finished article. He seems to know where his game is going now and ‘touch wood,’ all his injury problems are also well behind him.

On the flip side, Stuart Broad look like what he is. A man short of match practise who is still finding his way after injuries, that’s not a criticism, just an observation.

I’m not suggesting England drop him, but it must be harder to find your form and fitness playing for England, rather than Nottinghamshire. As he is the T20 captain and part of the 50 over side, I can’t see him playing county cricket for Notts anytime soon either, something I believe he would benefit from.

At the moment Broad must be classed as England’s third seamer, although I’m not convinced the selectors rank him that low. A marker of how strong England are in this position is that when Tim Bresnan is fit again, he probably won’t get a look in – not even after his Ashes’ performances.

Having said all that, there is plenty of room for improvement in England’s bowling. Lord’s wasn’t great and they’ve had their moments here as well. I’m not convinced that they have all got back into their top rhythm yet, hopefully by the time India arrive they will be firing on all cylinders again.

Can Chris Tremlett do it again?

Now that it’s official, that Chris Tremlett is in the England world cup squad, I’m wondering can he have the same impact he did when he came into the side during the Ashes?

Tremlett’s ability seemed to take the Aussies by surprise, they seemed to me to be wondering why a bloke this good wasn’t already in the team.

First thoughts though are that the pitches at the world cup aren’t going to suit him anything like the Aussie pitches did.

But from a positive prospective, I don’t believe this will weaken the England team in any great way – although we now can’t afford any more injuries – as Tremlett has had more cricket over the past couple of months and is probably in better rythem than Broad was, although Broad had showed signs of a return to form against South Africa.

Another positive is that he won’t have to acclimatise as he has been with the squad throughout this tour.

Any regular readers of this blog will know that I am a fan of Tremlett’s bowling, I was disappointed he didn’t make the initial squad, but I fully understand why, as he and Broad are a bit like-for-like.

I’m not sure if he will come straight into the team, Shahzad may well get his chance now, and he is the better batsman as well and was unlucky to be left out after the India match.

But at least England have options, there will come a time when it will be horses for courses, so I fully expect Tremlett to play his role in this competition.

The additions of Eoin Morgan and Tremlett, shows that at the moment England have good quality in depth.

Chris Tremlett = ECB Central Contract?

I’m a bit confused and and in need of some advice here.

Let me explain, I heard earlier in the week that Chris Tremlett had been awarded an incremental contract. My first thoughts on this was why wasn’t he given a central contract?

Surely he is worth one, so why not?

Is it that they are only awarded on an annual basis at the end of September? So he will have to wait?

One theory that popped into my head courtesy of my over active imagination, is that maybe due to Tremlett’s past temperament issues, the awarding of a central contract might see him slip back into his comfort zone.

I can see the logic in giving him a contract as I would assume that going forward he is now likely to be a part of the test side. Not so sure about ODI’s, but I can see him being used as back up for Stuart Broad in them.

On doing a bit of research, I have found that he has been awarded this contract automatically as he has reached the threshold of 20 points. The points are apparently awarded based on the amount of performances.

So basically it’s not a case of someone within the ECB saying ‘I know, lets give that Chris Tremlett fellow a contract, he’s done jolly well recently.’

Maybe Gile$ Clar£e is worried about finances, that could be another possible theory.

If the lack of a central contract is down to the calender reasons I mentioned above, then I can understand it. If it’s for any other reason, I’m a bit puzzled.

Anyone out there who is an expert in central contracts, help!

It just had to be Tremlett!

When I seen the news on Friday morning that Jimmy Anderson had broke or cracked a rib while boxing, I couldn’t help but think that it would be ironic if the man who landed the fateful blow would turn out to be Chris Tremlett.

But then a touch of reality kicked in, I was been totally stupid thinking that! There is no way in the world that anybody with any sense would put a bloke the size of Tremlett in the ring with a bloke the size of Anderson, it must have been someone else who broke his rib.

I mean, you wouldn’t put Amir Khan in the same ring as Vitali Klitschko would you?

Before this trip I had a neutral view about it, I thought Flower and Strauss knew what was best for the squad and that they would make the correct decisions.

I believed that sensible decisions would be taken by sensible people, that the era of people getting kicked up in the air by team mates in football practise at the start of a days play were over for good.

How wrong was I. This is just the kind of outcome that all the cynics of this trip were warning about and most probably waiting for.

It’s not just the damage done to Anderson’s ribs that is a problem. This could possibly upset the psychology of other members of the squad.

How is Chris Tremlett likely to feel should he end up playing in the 1st test as a result of this?

Will it effect him and have a negative impact on him and his bowling?

Will Jimmy Anderson now hold any bad feelings towards Tremlett?

If Anderson is 100% fit for the Brisbane test match, then none of the above should be an issue. If he isn’t then someone, somewhere in the England ranks may have some explaining to do.

Can Chris Tremlett come good at last?

On hearing today’s news that Chris Tremlett has signed a three year contract to play for Surrey, I couldn’t help thinking that hopefully this could be the catalyst to him reviving his once promising England career.

Tremlett played three Tests for England against India in 2007 and impressed by taking 13 wickets, at the time he was in for the injured Harmison and looked every bit his long term successor with his height, pace and bounce.

What has happened to him since then?

In the past he has had questions asked of his temperament, his body language has never been great and his demeanour out on the pitch has never looked too impressive.

Shane Warne commented on this during his spell as Hampshire captain and worked on it with him, resulting in him getting picked for England against India.

Tremlett had been on the radar of the selectors even before his 2007 appearances against India, during the 2005 Ashes series he was 12th man for the first 4 Tests and was then ironically left out of the squad for the 5th Test due to lack of match practise.

He has also had his fair share on injuries, added to the squad for the winter tour of New Zealand in 2008 as cover, again for Harmison, Tremlett returned home injured before having the chance to bowl in a Test match. He also had to withdraw from the 2005 tour of Pakistan with an injury.

Could this move revitalise him and put him back in the thoughts of the selectors? At 28 years old he should be coming into his prime, already he has a respectable 1st class average of 28.66, picking up 289 wickets. If he was to really get his act together imagine how good those figures could look.

He looks to have it all on paper, if someone at Surrey can give him the boot up the arse he seems to need, not only could Surrey have some bowler, so could England. And lets face it, at the moment there is a massive vacancy in the England team for a bowler of his ilk.