We feel moderately confident naming it this, because it doesn’t seem so likely that there’ll be another such day when not just one, but both of these players have a sizeable impact on a Test match.
James Tredwell, for one, might never play another Test. This is sad and if you think that’s hypocritical being as we were calling for the inclusion of Adil Rashid in his stead, remember that hypocrisy is built into our England support mechanisms. If you’re playing, we’re behind you. You’re our guy.
Tredders is a man who plays both second XI cricket and also for England. As he whangs in his round-arm slattery, he seems more like the former. He looks less like an elite athlete and more like an electrician or a maths teacher. This is, unquestionably, a good thing and only makes his wickets (winkled, cajoled or stolen – never taken) all the more pleasing.
As for Jermaine Blackwood, the mania side of his bipolar batting approach encourages the notion that he might not have a long career, but the gleeful hitting might actually be less relevant than the depression that generally engulfed it.
If the kind of man who carts his second ball for six can smother the impetuous part of his brain to such an extent that his 112 not out takes 220 balls, he has some kind of willpower. There were quite a few where-did-that-come-from larrups but he was skilled enough to get away with most and may need less luck in the future when further synapse smotheration has taken place.
Hindsight is everything. Maybe in years to come we’ll look back on the lows of this innings as being indicators that Blackwood wasn’t cut out for Test cricket, or perhaps we’ll simply see them as rough edges. Who knows, maybe he’ll find himself up against wily old James Tredwell again in 2019, two careworn masters carrying underperforming sides, engaging in one more epic individual battle.
Asked which of his team-mates he least enjoyed facing in the nets recently, Moeen Ali said:
“James Tredwell. Annoying. You just try and smack him and you can’t hit him anywhere.”
It’s one of the mysteries of the age how Tredders doesn’t go for seven an over, but it’s a fact that he doesn’t. His economy rate in one-day internationals is 4.77 an over and he averages 27.81. He’s also England’s second highest ranked bowler (he’s 12th with Jimmy Anderson sixth).
So why isn’t he playing? You can say that England are experimenting, but Peter Moores did say he was looking to settle on a first choice XI by the first match against Australia, and today, Tredwell wasn’t in it.
You could argue that conditions played a part, but they actually seemed quite spin-friendly and why would conditions ever dictate the omission of one of your top two bowlers anyway?
This happens a lot. It seems England omit Tredwell on the basis of how they perceive him rather than what he actually tends to do. Maybe his figures wouldn’t be quite as good if he played every match, but on the basis of what he’s done so far, that theory demands testing.
But no. We’ll have a fourth right-arm fast-medium seamer please – that famously effective genre of one-day bowler. Six foot, slim, cool haircut, arm muscles straining the sleeves of the laser blue shirt – they look so much better in slow-mo reaction shots when the batsman’s just pinged a six back over their head.
James Tredwell. Annoying. Quite often in one-day cricket, that’s more than enough.
We just want to confirm this really. He seems to have all the requisite qualities.
Deluxe Nineties cricketer
Of all England’s current players, James Tredwell is the one we think would have seemed most at home in England teams of the Nineties. He boasts a kind-of-okay first-class record and no discernible unique selling point. He’s a real Mark Ealham/Robert Croft kind of a player. However, unlike most Nineties England cricketers, he seems to do a job, which is a bit of a bonus.
And what a job! You want 2-35 off 10 overs against Ireland? Tredders is your man. That’s very useful in a one-day game, but far from being the kind of performance likely to earn you a headline. In short, it’s a perfectly calibrated effort. Top stuff.
Pretty self-explanatory really. Plus he’s slapped back.
When England won a Test series in India, we felt moved to ask: “Will wonders never cease?”
It wasn’t a rhetorical question, so in light of England winning a high-scoring one-day international in India, we now have an answer: WONDERS WILL NEVER CEASE.
England don’t do high-scoring one-day matches well. If they think they’re threatening 300, they tend to assume that they’re playing irresponsibly and so rein themselves in. Watching SamPat thock the ball with abandon at the end of the innings, we felt convinced that 325 wasn’t enough.
We hadn’t banked on the wiles of James Tredwell, however, who was so effective that we feel moved to call him ‘James Playedwell’.
No-one would really have anticipated that India’s gameplan would be to see off James Tredwell and then cash in against the other bowlers. Certainly no-one expected them to fail at the ‘seeing him off’ part. Tredwell took 4-44 off his ten overs and in a match in which both sides passed 300, that’s really rather handy.
The England camp has been struck by a few cases of the wild shits this week. This might not seem that interesting in itself, but it has allowed us to answer one important question.
Is Luke Wright a batsman, a bowler or simply a blank canvas who doesn’t get injured? Apparently, he’s none of those. He’s actually a blank canvas who doesn’t get the wild shits.
James Tredwell is playing too and the West Indies have dropped Shiv.
An England win is all but guaranteed.
We named our England heroes for the World Cup before it had started. We remember now that cricketing heroism is more about what you do on the pitch than the shape of your head.
That said, the man named on the basis of head shape, Tim Bresnan, has been something of a success. He’s taken wickets and often looked England’s best bowler, particularly against India. Maybe phrenology is the way forward.
Mike Yardy is the other hero who’s actually played. While he could maybe have bolstered his figures had he played against the Netherlands, it now seems like his one-day career may have run its course. There always seemed to be an England policy of playing Yardy as a bowler for as long as they could get away with it, in which case, shame on them for overplaying him before the tournament. He could have been their secret tool.
Luke Wright’s not been seen. The High-Visibility Tabard of England Squad Membership must be so firmly affixed to his torso that he cannot be picked lest he be mistaken for a steward while fielding on the boundary.
As for James Tredwell, in naming these England heroes, we wrote:
“Yes, he is in the squad. You’d probably forgotten.”
We stand by that.
If you’re English, your heroes shouldn’t be talented or eye-catching. Being English is about celebrating the people who really don’t seem like they should be doing something, but are doing it anyway and are doing it well.
Here are the official King Cricket heroes for the 2011 World Cup. These are the guys we’ll be rooting for.
Bit trendy after doing a hell of a lot to help England win the Ashes, but only trendy in the way that the theme tune to the Bill was trendy after they jazzed it up a bit.
Tim Bresnan is from Yorkshire and he has quite a round head. Those are qualities we can all appreciate.
Yes, he is in the squad. You’d probably forgotten. You know of James Tredwell, but you don’t really know much about him.
James Tredwell looks older than he is and bats ‘a bit’. His spin bowling is not in any way eye-catching and he is so low profile that we have just had to create a category for him having never properly written about him before. An ideal World Cup hero.
As we’ve said before, we don’t actually know whether Luke Wright is a batsman, a bowler or simply a blank canvas who doesn’t get injured. When he does play, he tries very, very hard.
Quite possibly the best of the bunch. As a batsman, he will never be a joy to watch. As for bowling, he has an approach that betrays a deep-seated loathing of any form of entertainment.
Mike Yardy is basically there to ruin cricket matches. If England win the final because he’s bowled 60 deliveries straight into the batsman’s legs without really spinning it at all, he will be the English hero to end all English heroes.