Chris Tremlett is “dying” to revive his Test career against Australia after being included in England’s squad for the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval, his Surrey home ground.
The 31-year-old fast bowler made his Test debut in 2007 but has played just 11 Tests with injuries, including a career-threatening back problem, checking his progress.
But the towering 6ft 7in paceman was called into England’s 14-man squad on Sunday after Yorkshire’s Tim Bresnan withdrew because of a back injury.
“I’m very hopeful,” the 31-year-old told a news conference at The Oval on Monday when asked about the chances of a Test recall.
“It’s been a long time coming and it’s been great to be back involved in the last two Test squads.
“I’ve had my injuries over the last couple of years and I’m dying to get an opportunity to play,” added Tremlett, who last played Test cricket against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in January 2012.
Tremlett played an important role during England’s 3-1 Ashes series win in Australia in 2010/11, with 17 wickets in three matches at an average of just over 23 apiece.
He now returns to an England squad, who at 3-0 up with one to play have retained the Ashes, that have already won their third successive Test series against Australia.
“It was great to be involved in the Ashes back in Australia and it’s great to be back involved in the squad and getting a feel for being around the guys again,” Tremlett said.
“It’s great to be back at The Oval but unfortunately for Tim Bresnan he’s got injured and there was a spot there. Hopefully it’s myself who can get the opportunity,” he added.
A good performance at The Oval would strengthen Tremlett’s case for inclusion in England’s squad for the return Ashes series in Australia, which gets underway in November.
However, he said: “With my injuries, I don’t look too far ahead. I’m just looking at this week.
“I’d love to be involved again in Australia— it was a great experience last time — but it’s about the Test coming up, not going to Australia.”
Tremlett, whose grandfather Maurice played three Tests for England and whose father Tim was a long-serving seam bowler at Hampshire, where Chris started his career, said it was the prospect of playing international cricket again that had kept him motivated throughout all his injury problems. “It’s always frustrating to go out of the team due to injury rather than a lack of form and that’s been the case throughout my England career; it’s always been injury that set me back,” he said.
“But it’s always driven me on to keep trying and I’ve always believed I can compete at that level.”