Despite not possessing the fear factor aura of Shane Warne or Muttiah Muralitharan, the ever-consistent James Tredwell will have an important role to play for England at next year’s Cricket World Cup.
The former Kent captain has been his country’s most trusted limited-overs spinner in recent years and next year’s tournament could be the stage for Tredwell to announce himself to the world.
After playing more than 50 times for England, he is no stranger to international competition and at the age of 32, it is time for him to distance himself from the nickname, ‘Steady Treddy’.
First and foremost, Tredwell brings a wealth of experience to England’s bowling attack. When he is midway through a spell, fans often feel a lot safer in the knowledge that he is throwing the ball down.
Although he hasn’t been able to add to his solitary Test appearance, he has been consistently in Alastair Cook’s side in the 50-over format. Following the retirement of Graeme Swann, he was the best prospect to turn the ball in the middle overs.
An albeit brief spell in charge of the Kent side during the 2012 campaign has given him the understanding of what it is like to be a captain, which has helped him understand the necessity of bowling to a specific field.
Tredwell’s 55 One Day International wickets have come at an average of just 25 and are accompanied by an economy rate of 4.77. In an era where teams regularly surpass 300 in 50 overs, the off-spinner’s ability to take wickets without being costly is a dying trade.
And it is that handy knack of slowing down opposition innings when they are in full flow that could be such an important asset to England when they embark on their adventure down under.
With Cook’s side struggling for runs in the recent limited-overs series at home to India, restricting sides even further could be an antidote for sluggish English strike rates.
The ascension of Moeen Ali up the hierarchy of England spinners has provided the all-rounder with a regular spot in the Test side. However, he was an existing member of the limited-overs squads – primarily as a batsman and part-time spinner.
So with that in mind, there is no reason why there isn’t enough room for both Ali and Tredwell to bowl in tandem for England in Australia and New Zealand.
The coming ODI series against Sri Lanka and the triangular series with Australia and India at the beginning of 2015 will be the final chances that players have to stake a claim for a starting World Cup spot.
All Tredwell needs to do is continue as he has been for many years in his characteristically consistent manner. Whilst he isn’t a superstar of the sport, he is just the type of player that England require if they are to exceed expectations next February and March.