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Tredwell happy to keep improving for Kent

Thursday 15th October 2009

After a relatively quiet 2008, Kent off-spinner James Tredwell (pictured)enjoyed a vintage season in 2009. The 27-year-old took 69 wickets in the LV County Championship but still feels he can further improve his game.

In 2008, Tredwell managed just 24 Championship wickets at 51 apiece. So why the big upturn in form last season?

“I“m getting better every year,” he told the Kent website. “I think my game is steadily improving and I feel more confident. I enjoyed a great season and it was pleasing to take so many wickets. I“m developing as a cricketer.

“I spoke to Min Patel and changed a couple of technical things over the winter – nothing major.

“We didn“t really talk much about when you“re attacking. We talked more about what to do when it“s a bit flatter and not turning.

“I“ve worked on improving my patience. I“ve been guilty in the past, when it“s been flatter, of trying too hard to get batsmen out, while Min looks from the other direction and tries to frustrate batsmen by stopping them from scoring.

“You build that pressure, rather than trying to bowl him through the gate, which is what I“ve tried to do in the past. Little things like that have enhanced my game, which counts for a lot in the end. I also learnt a lot on my trip to India, ahead of the season. I improved on the technical side of my game, on that trip, and it has certainly improved me as a player. ”

By Tredwell“s own admission, Kent“s drop down to Division Two helped contribute to his prolific summer and so did the presence of a left-arm seam bowler. The off-spinner also feels that the weather played a part too.

“We didn“t have as much rain over the season as what we have had in the past,” added Tredwell, who recently married his long-term partner Beth Evans.

“We also had Wayne Parnell for part of the season, which created a lot of rough for me to bowl into. Also, playing second division cricket, you don“t come up against the length of batting line-ups that you see in the top division. It is easier to take bigger hauls and helps you move from 40 to 60 wickets that little bit easier.

“I went into the season really confident and I bowled a lot of overs early on, which clearly helped.

“We also played some real good winning cricket. We won lots of our Championship matches so it was easier for me to attack. Putting runs on the board makes my job easier and we did that a lot in 2009.”

Tredwell got the opportunity to captain Kent during the season and says he really enjoyed the challenge.

“It was great for me to get the chance to lead the boys. I captained throughout the age groups and also the second team, and England under 19s, so someone somewhere must see something in me as a leader. I“m a Kent lad, having come up through the system, so playing and captaining the side is a very pleasing thing for me.

“But Rob Key is obviously doing a great job as skipper. He“s got a very shrewd cricket brain and leads by example. He is very much the man in charge. My opportunity arose because we were playing young players in the NatWest Pro40. It was nice to be the senior player, in the group, and to offer some experience to the younger guys,” said Tredwell.

Crucial to Kent“s success in recent seasons has been the captain-coach partnership between Key and Graham Ford. The South African, Ford, has been replaced as head coach by Paul Farbrace and Tredwell believes that the new man will do a great job.

“He is a talented coach and the boys enjoy working with him. He did a good job with Sri Lanka and has a strong coaching pedigree,” Tredwell told the Kent website.

Although more noted as a bowler, Tredwell is a fine fielder and once again showed his qualities with the bat in 2009.

“I didn“t get that many opportunities as the top order did really well but the game at Essex was massive for me. Keysie was away with England so I got an opportunity to open the batting and got a patient 70-odd. It allowed the other players to play their way and it ultimately led to a great team win. I had a similar innings against Derbyshire, here at Canterbury,” said Tredwell.

So what next for Tredwell? His good performances in the summer of 2007 prompted his elevation to the England Performance Squad that winter. He was then subsequently rewarded with a call-up to England’s one-day squad for their tour of New Zealand in 2008. So does he expect to feature again for the national side?

“It would be nice. Obviously I“ve had a taste of international cricket and I would love to feature again. I hope I can make the England Lions squad because if you are in the system, and doing well, then there is every chance of stepping up into the England squad. I“m not banking everything on it but it would be lovely to make it.

“I“m a married man now and I want to really push on with my career. I had a good 2009 so hopefully that will help push me into reckoning for the Lions because that is where everyone naturally wants to be.”