Sunday, 26 December 2010

So long Chris, it was a blast!

In my post-Christmas lunch haze I settled in to watch the start of Ashes Test number four last night, the Boxing Day Test at the enormous Melbourne Cricket Ground, and what a treat I was in store for.

Australia blasted out for 98, their lowest total at The G in Ashes history, a sub-100 innings total is a rare thing indeed in the annals of England in Australia history.  England's seamers put on a real show for their supporters, those at the ground and those recovering at home .  Anderson returned figures of 4-44, Bresnan 2-25 and the pick of the attack - statistically at least, Chris Tremlett with 4-26 taking him to 12 wickets in just two Ashes tests at an average of under 15.  The reality struck then and there, Perth was no fluke, Tremlett is there for keeps.

Steven Finn can count himself unlucky to have been dropped, or 'rested' for this game, but his time will come, it is clear to all who have seen him that he'll go on to take hundreds of wickets for England.  Finn is still raw though, he has areas to improve on, Tremlett is the finished article now.

Chris Tremlett is what a good friend of mine likes to call a "sh*t you up" bowler, like Harmison was in his pomp, he worries batsmen because of his sheer size and presence.  It was a joy to watch him bowl at the Oval in 2010, which brings me to my main point - in 2011 Tremlett at the Oval, and in fact in a Surrey shirt anywhere, might not happen very much.

England know now that in Tremlett, if he stays fit, they have a world class bowler who is at the peak of his physical prowess, and they should take advantage of that.  I think Steve Finn will have a hell of a fight on his hands to get into this side once Broad returns, what a delicious prospect for England, and there's Onions to come back too!

So Surrey will likely be a seamer for large chunks of the 2011 county season, the fitness of Jade Dernbach, Stuart Meaker, Tim Linley and the fragile Chris Jordan is all the more important suddenly.  Dernbach, Meaker and Linley took 88 wickets between them in the Championship last season, averaging 30 collectively, striking on average once every 54 balls and going at 3.3 runs an over.  Respectable figures no doubt - but Tremlett was a cut above, averaging 20, strike rate of 45 and going at just 2.6 an over.  He leaves a gaping chasm in our bowling attack, make no mistake.

Matthew Dunn might find himself called upon more regularly than he might've thought a few weeks ago but it'd be unfair to expect too much of such a young (though undoubtedly talented) player.

I am delighted for Tremlett, and England (country before county after all!), but he added a real cutting edge to our attack that will be sorely missed.  Dernbach and Meaker need to make a step up, which I think they are both certainly capable of, maybe the extra responsibility will be the making of them?


Wes ~PFCNFS~ said...

Tremlett is just such a lovely bowler. I think both sides had been itching to see him get into the ring, after his promising outing against Australia A. The guy gives me a silly grin, how can you not like him. Wishing him all the best. I guess the Surrey-Middlesex competition inside the English attack has shifted to 1:0 Tremlett :P

But of course I hope to see Finn back at some point, but he still has a lot of time to adjust his bowling. The main thing is he doesn't get overtaken by another leapfrogging talent.

Dernbach is already sniffing at national honours isn't he? Thought I had read something about him taking wicket with the performance squad or so.

Cheers :)

Wes ~PFCNFS~ said...


GreenJJ said...

Afternoon Wes

Its a tough call, but I think Trem just edges ahead of Finn at the moment. I think Finn is a fantastic bowler, and seems a thoroughly sensible bloke too which will help him - he's got bags of time on his side as you say.

Re: Dernbach, he has taken a few for the performance squad, couple of 2-fors I think, and he's in the 30 for the World Cup which is bloody fantastic for his self belief. I just think he needs to tighten up in a few areas, I absolutely love Dernbach, he never gives anything less than 100%, but last year there were still a few too many loose deliveries. Maybe his time with the EPP will have sorted that though!

Symo said...

With Tremlett now surely booked in for the summer with England, I would have thought signing a new bowler might be top of the new year 'to do' list for SCCC.

I'm torn though as to whether I think we need one - or at least whether we should spend big money on one. Would like to see Meaker given more responsibility and Dunn some games to blood himself. But losing Tremlett does leave a big experience gap ... and while it's good to look to the future, it's important to do well in the present too.

GreenJJ said...

I do think if we're looking to improve on last season in the CC, and we should be! We need another seamer, its a bit much to ask of Meaker and Dunn at such an early stage. Having said that, I'm not sure it'll happen, next season might be another long one....!

Wes ~PFCNFS~ Blog said...

Hello Jay, I only remember the moments when Dernbach was being bloody annoying... taking Middlewickets! ;)

Have a good 2011!


Chappers said...

Happy New Year

and balls, we have lost our best batsman to Injury (KP doesn't really count) and now our best bowler to England. We don't have a spinner and our all-rounder (Jordan) has a terrible injury record. And we may yet lose our keeper for parts of the summer too.

Without wanting to be overly pessimistic, if we get even close to promotion we will have done well.

Perhaps not a happy New Year for Surrey fans.
At least we have the ashes to console ourselves with!!

GreenJJ said...

Happy new year to you too Chappers.

Yeah, its not great news all round for Surrey fans. I think we will really struggle without our attack leader and our leading batsman, I don't think you can overestimate the contributions of Trem and Ramps to last season, absolutely massive, they will leave a gaping hole. I hate being overly negative but to expect promotion from what will be an incredibly young and inexperienced side is heaping too much pressure on their shoulders I fear!