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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Chris Tremlett speaks to Bikash Mohapatra

Chris Tremlett speaks to Bikash Mohapatra

Last updated on: July 28, 2011 10:48 IST

To play Tendulkar, you have to be patient: Tremlett

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England fast bowler Chris Tremlett tells Bikash Mohapatra he thrives on pressure, and a big crowd.

For Chris Tremlett, this year has been all about proving a point.

With 23 wickets in five Tests in 2011, the 29-year-old fast bowler has confirmed his credentials as a vital cog in the England bowling department.

Having played a crucial role in England's Ashes triumph in Australia, Tremlett followed it up with 15 wickets in the three Test, home series, against Sri Lanka, winning him the man-of-the-series honour.

In the opening Test against India at Lord's, Tremlett continued his good form, with four wickets.


Image: Chris Tremlett

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'What has happened has happened. It's long forgotten'

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Tremlett made a memorable Test debut against the Indians four years ago.

Despite his haul of 13 wickets in the three Tests against India that series, he was dropped from the English team.

"I felt disappointed not to be picked for the Sri Lankan tour soon after that series," Tremlett recalls.

It took three years for him to get back into the squad.

"It has taken me time to get back into the team," he says, adding, "At the same time it has given me an opportunity to refocus and realise what I want to achieve in life."

"I don't really have too many regrets. What has happened has happened. It's long forgotten."


Image: Chris Tremlett, who was dropped from the English team despite his dream debut against India in 2007

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'I have become more aggressive'

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Tremlett surprisingly takes some of the blame for his international exile.

"Had I made a move to Surrey early on, things might have been a bit different," he feels.

"I think I improved as a bowler (during his three years away from the national side)," he says, adding, "I have become naturally more aggressive. And certainly more consistent, probably bowling a touch more quickly."

Drafted into the England squad for the tour Down Under last winter -- to defend the Ashes -- Tremlett grabbed the opportunity that came his way.

Seventeen wickets in three Tests meant he had played a stellar part in helping England retain the cherished urn.


Image: Chris Tremlett with his skipper Andrew Strauss

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'I thrive on pressure'

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"I thrive on pressure, a big crowd or a pressure situation. I try to take on the situation," says the 6' 7" Tremlett.

"I have done well in the last six months. Coming into this series against India, I certainly felt a lot more confident, which in itself is a great thing."

Tremlett refuses to compare the India series with the Ashes.

"It's hard to top the Ashes hype. But there is certainly a buzz about this series, considering we are playing the No 1 side in the world."


Image: Chris Tremlett celebrates

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'Players like Sachin play attritional cricket'

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I ask him about his strategy against the Indians. "Subcontinental teams," Tremlett explains, "can be susceptible to short-pitched bowling at times."

"At the same time, you have to have the pitch to help you out," says the bowler, who is one short of 50 Test wickets. "I think the result of the series will depend on the conditions."

"Our plans will be to keep things simple," he adds.

Tremlett -- who former English skipper Nasser Hussain tipped to trouble the 5' 5" Sachin Tendulkar -- did exactly that in the Lord's Test. Though he failed to get the prized wicket in either inning, the continuous pressure Tremlett exerted ensured that his mates benefitted, sending Sachin away for low scores (34 and 12).

"Players like Sachin play attritional cricket," says Tremlett. "The idea is not to give too much away. My plan against players like him is simple, to bang it in with the occasional bounce."

"But to play him you have to be very patient."


Image: An airborne Chris Tremlett celebrates yet another wicket

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'Performances on the pitch have made me more confident'

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Complacency is something Tremlett won't allow to creep in.

"I have just done enough to keep my place in the team at the moment," he says.

"There are a lot more guys knocking on the door. Steven Finn is a very talented bowler. He got to 50 Tests wickets very quickly and yet can't get into the team."

"That shows the competition for places in this England line-up. Performances on the pitch have made me more confident."

One thing is for sure: Tremlett's fate this time around won't be what it was four years ago. England's selectors are not going to ignore his guile and pace for some time to come.


Image: Chris Tremlett sends Mahendra Singh Dhoni, left, on his way

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