Tremlett ready to fight for England place
Chris Tremlett is unfazed by his latest injury setback and will be ready to fight for his spot in England's bowling attack following surgery on a ruptured disc.
The towering fast bowler is targeting a return to action in April after suffering a recurrence of his back injury in the first Test against Pakistan in Dubai, having been out since July with the same injury, which forced him to miss the Test series with India and the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.
Despite concerns that this latest setback might signal the end of the the 30-year-old's Test career, Tremlett backs himself to prove his 6ft 7in frame can withstand the rigours of bowling in one of the world's leading attacks.
Before that, however, he faces a fight to win back a place in the plans of England coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss.
"There's natural competition there and I think it's very healthy," Tremlett told ESPN. "There are five or six guys knocking on the door. Finny [Steven Finn] has bowled brilliantly for the last year or so and he hasn't been able to get in the Test side, apart from one game at Lord's last summer.
"So if guys are bowling well and they get the opportunity, then you've got to stick your hand up and say, 'The guy deserves his place.' It is sort of like a natural rotation policy with fast bowlers, because there are going to be injuries."
Tremlett is the latest in a growing list of England pace bowlers to fall victim to injury, with the Surrey man pointing to the contrasting demands of the various forms of the game taking its toll.
"It's tough work, especially if you're a big guy - someone like Broady, sometimes I feel for him because he plays all forms of the game, he bowls a lot of overs, probably more than anyone else. My main focus has been four-day cricket and Test cricket, so it has given me natural breaks from bowling in between. Unfortunately I got injured, but hopefully, long term, if I can keep myself in the set-up and make sure my workload's looked after, then I'll be able to play for a few years to come."
After helping England win the Ashes in Australia and emerging the side's leading wicket-taker against Sri Lanka, Tremlett was replaced for last summer's Test series with India by Tim Bresnan. England went on to crush the tourists 4-0 and become the world No. 1-ranked Test team.
An elbow injury for Bresnan prompted a recall, but the first Test against Pakistan in Dubai took its toll and Tremlett was soon on his way home for surgery.
"I don't think I'm back to square one," he says of his latest setback. "It's naturally frustrating, but I know what it's like. I know I do bounce back strong and I do work very hard when I'm coming back from an injury.
"I've had a good couple of years, I've got myself back in the England fold, so it is frustrating, but if you want it too much and push it too hard - and I come back too quickly - that's when the injury could reoccur.
"It'll just be nice to get some overs under my belt for Surrey, then we'll think about England and hopefully I can find the form I had last year."