An Interview with…James Tredwell

Saturday 22nd June 2013

Men’s First Team

After featuring prominently in the semi-final victory over South Africa on Wednesday, Kent captain James Tredwell will hope to play his part for Englandin the final of the ICC Champions Trophy against India on Sunday.

With his team mates involved in a memorable Yorkshire Bank 40 win over Sussex at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, on Wednesday, Tredwell took three wickets in a man-of-the-match performance as the national side booked its place in the competition final.

Coming into the side in place of the injured Graeme Swann, the 31-year-old bowled JP Duminy before finding the edge of both Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris – both catches eagerly snapped up by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

Tredwell finished with fine figures of 3-19 from his seven overs, as South Africa were dismissed for 175.

Jonathan Trott then helped guide England through to victory, with a patient 82, while Joe Root weighed in with 48 as a seven-wicket success was achieved.

The official website caught up with James to discuss his achievements with England and to ask how he kept in touch with Kent's fine victory on Wednesday night.

James, thanks for talking to us. Let's start by reflecting on the win over South Africa. How pleasing was it to earn victory and produce such a top performance?

Well, I was naturally delighted. First and foremost, we won the toss and were on a high straight away. The two lads upfront both did a good job with the ball but Jimmy produced a magnificent spell, which really set the tone. He made it tough for their batters and I was able to pick up my wickets off the back of the good work that he did with the new ball.

You took your chance really well and couldn't have bowled much better, could you?

I've been in and out this summer for England so it was good to get a chance and I would like to think that I took it. The situation was perhaps a little more fortunate than on some other occasions. By the time I got the ball, the game was set-up and they couldn't really take massive risks, which enabled me to quickly get into a rhythm.

You fully kept the pressure on though, didn't you?

I think we all did. Sometimes if it's tough against the new ball, batsmen choose to sit in and wait for the change bowlers to come on and then try to score their runs off them. Getting early wickets certainly helped us, as a group, and I was able to take two or three in the space of a couple of overs, which kept them on the ropes.

They staged a bit of a fightback, late in the innings, but were you still confident at the halfway stage?

Definitely – especially after bowling so well. We felt it might be a low scoring game but the partnership between David Miller and Rory Kleinveldt indicated it was a pretty decent wicket. We knew it would be tough against the new ball and that it might not be easy against the spinners but the confidence was there at the halfway stage and we went out there and did it.

Jonathan Trott and Joe Root did a great job with the bat, didn't they?

They did, yes, and with that score, Trotty is an ideal man to have at the wicket. He came in at 40 for two and just steadied the ship. He worked the ball around and built an innings. There is nobody better in world cricket, in that situation. It was very reassuring to have him out in the middle and what more can be said about Rooty? He keeps showing his class and is a young man with an old head on his shoulders. He has got such a great temperament and impressed once again.

Were you confident of reaching the final, going into the tournament?

Well I don't think you ever expect anything and we knew that it would be tough. It is quite a short competition and there are no long periods – waiting for games or results. We've played some good cricket and to get through to the semi-finals was a great achievement. We are now through to the big day on Sunday and I hope that we can play to our maximum. If we do then it should be a great game against India.

They're a good side though, aren't they?

Yes, they are, but we've already beaten some good sides to get this far. Their team is packed full of talented players and they have started going down the youth route by bringing younger players into the group. They are all keen to impress and they've certainly delivered over the last few years. People are saying they start the game as favourites so it would be nice to upset them and to win it.

Will it help that you are playing in English conditions?

Well I guess home advantage does count for something but the pitches over here are pretty dry and they've offered something for the spin bowlers, which is what the Indians are used to. Therefore, I don't think its a massive help but we will have lots of support and we need to perform and put on a display to be proud of.

Are you hoping to feature on Sunday?

Yes, hopefully. If I get the chance then I will take it with both hands. Being part of any England team is a huge honour and I've been lucky enough to feature in a couple of winning teams in competitions now. I remember the Twenty20 success in Barbados (in 2010) and just being a part of it was fantastic. It provided us players with a tremendous feeling. I'm now part of another group doing something similar.

How is Graeme Swann's fitness?

I don't think he's far off but if there's a risk then I'm not sure he will play – with the Ashes so close. I've just got to keep turning up at training and putting the hard yards in. I will be fully prepared for the final if I get the nod to play and I, obviously, hope that will be the case.

Is it hard, having Graeme ahead of you in the pecking order?

Yes and no. If you look at the stats then you will see I've played a fair bit recently and I would like to think that I've put my stamp down when I have featured. I hope that stands for something and if I keep doing that then I could jump ahead of him. That is the challenge for me. I just need to keep showing what I can do. Swanny's done fantastically well for England; you can't take that away from him. Look, it is tough when you're part of any squad as we would all like to be playing in the first XI. I would love to be part of a team that could win a world tournament and I hope to be involved.

While you were involved with England, Kent were in the middle of a Yorkshire Bank 40 thriller with Sussex. How closely did youfollow proceedings?

Well I was watching the scores pretty intently! When we finished, I turned on and Sussex were 170 for none after 16 or 17 overs. Then, around the midway point of the innings, the slower bowlers came on and pegged them back nicely to claw it back in the last period. I don't think there's enough superlatives to describe Stevo's knock. It was a superb innings and he's one player in the country that can play an innings like that. Equally, praise needs to be given to the people that helped him get us there. Sam (Northeast) made his highest one-day score. It was his first hundred and he showed great maturity and a high level of skill to score at that rate and he got us right to the line. His contribution shouldn't be underestimated. Both of them played a crucial role in what was a superb victory.

Do you think that victory will help push the team on in the Championship too?

Championship cricket is obviously different. We've been playing well in the one-dayers but haven't played great cricket in the championship so far. Still, it's a new phase of the season now and we have to have a bit of fun in the Friends Life t20. That's certainly the aim. We want to kick-start our season and produce a better end to the season, than what we achieved at the start. We are all massively keen to improve our four-day cricket. We are not the only side to have struggled in certain periods and it's not been easy with the bat for many teams this year. We have done some good things, at different times, but we need to make sure we do it more consistently.

Finally, how tough is it for you being away for long periods with the national side?

It is tough because, having taken the reins, I would have loved to bewith Kentall the time but I've also got my own career to think of and I know that the team is in decent hands back at HQ. I'm in constant talks with Jimmy (Adams) and Jonah (Geraint Jones). Ideally, I would be there too but that's not the case. I know they're holding the reins well and I look forward to returning once my England commitments are over.