With a 6ft 7inch frame that looks cut from stone, Chris Tremlett is a hulking quick bowler of immense ability. His body gives him all the ingredients – pace, bounce and accuracy – to be a world-class fast-bowler but has also let down over and again as injuries have curtailed his Test career.
He is part of the strong pack of fast-bowlers that have led England to the top of the world rankings and, after four years out of the Test side, Tremlett starred in England’s away Ashes win taking xxx at xxx, which included the Ashes winning wicket to end 24-years of waiting.
An outstanding home series the following summer against Sri Lanka promoted comparisons with Joel Garner but, having broken into the top ten rankings, back injury ruled him out of three Tests against India in 2011. Though he played a Test in UAE against Pakistan the following winter he was not fully fit and had surgery to remedy his back problems soon after. Many believed that would be the end of his international career but he is confident he can return.
Tremlett comes from an esteemed cricketing family. He is the son of Tim Tremlett, the former Hampshire seamer, and the grandson of Maurice, who played for Somerset and England in the 1940s and 50s. He took a wicket with his first ball of first-class cricket, against New Zealand A in 2000 and after impressing for Hampshire made the England Under-19 tour of India in 2000-01, and a place in the first batch of Rod Marsh’s academy intakes in 2001-02.
An impressive start to the 2004 season with Hampshire earned him a call up to England’s preliminary squad for the ICC Champions Trophy, and the following year he was named in England’s new 25-man development squad, ahead of the 2005 Ashes. He made his one-day debut during the 2005 NatWest Series – and was denied a hat-trick against Bangladesh only because the ball bounced off middle stump without dislodging the bails. Despite his domestic performances tailing off in the second half of the 2005 season and a suspicion that he tended to lose rhythm under pressure, Tremlett earned a call-up to the England squad for Pakistan before a hamstring injury ruled him out.
It set the precedent for his international career. After injuries hampered international ambitions in 2006 he was named in the academy to be based in Perth during that winter’s Ashes series, and was asked to join the squad for the subsequent one-day series. Though a surprising success for England it was a forgettable series for Tremlett, ended by another injury setback, which then delayed the start to his 2007 season.
However, once back on the field he impressed enough to earn a call to the England Lions squad and was handed his Test debut against India at Lord’s. Troubling the much-vaunted Indian batting line-up with uncomfortable bounce and lively pace, he looked set to be a key man as England looked to forge a new attack after the 2005 generation. Instead injury struck once more.
After missing the 2007-08 winter tours he was included in England’s ODI squad to face Scotland but a heel injury ended his hopes. After a frustrating 2009 season, where he played seven Championship matches, he left Hampshire for Surrey. It was a move that worked wonders and, after taking 48 Championship wickets, he earned a recall for the Ashes tour, that established his reputation as a high-class quick.
Upstanding, self-effacing and privately educated, Andrew Strauss is the archetypical England captain. He is also fast becoming their most successful. His understated authority underpinned England's rise to the top of the world rankings - for the first time since 31 years - in a journey that included a home Ashes win in 2009, an even sweeter victory in Australia that was 24 years in the making and a 4-0 whitewash to topple India off the top of the world rankings in 2011. A compact left-handed opener Strauss is severe on the cut shot, efficient off his pads and workmanlike everywhere else. Though most comfortable with pace on the ball Strauss made two centuries against an Australian attack that included Shane Warne in 2005 and tenacious back-to-back hundreds in the same Test in Chennai in 2008. His early county cricket with Middlesex did not exactly suggest a star in the making, but a century in 2003 against Lancashire, with Andrew Flintoff haring in, set the selectors sniffing - and also made Strauss believe he had what it took. After a few one-day caps that winter Strauss was called up for the first Test against New Zealand in 2004 after Michael Vaughan twisted his knee in the Lord's nets. Strauss responded with a confident century, and was on his way to another in the second innings when Nasser Hussain ran him out 17 short. But Hussain had seen enough: with Vaughan set to return, he announced his immediate retirement and Strauss's England career was set. Strauss flirted with captaincy in 2006 - he memorably dubbed himself "the stand-in for the stand-in" in the absence of the injured Vaughan and Flintoff - leading England to victory at home against Pakistan. Universally admired by his team-mates, it now seems bizarre that a natural leader would ever be overlooked for the captaincy but that's exactly what happened for the 2005-06 Ashes. Flintoff was chosen instead as England flunked to 5-0 loss. It was the first disappointment in his Test career and instigated a slump in form that saw him go 15 matches without a Test hundred. With his England spot looking desperately insecure he produced a eight-hour 177, his highest Test score, to seal a series win in Napier and salvage his career. His form flooded back and when Kevin Pietersen and Peter Moores fell out spectacularly, England turned to the steadiest pair of hands. He forged a partnership with new coach Andy Flower in 2009 and the 'Andocracy' has since reached almost hallowed status. During the early part of his England career hundreds came apace – with 10 in his first 30 games – but captaincy, as it so often does, dented his form. Despite centuries in the 2009 and 2010-11 Ashes, Strauss struggled elsewhere and when England lost four consecutive Tests in the 2011-12 winter, murmurings began about his future. But Strauss stayed true to himself – affable, calm and respectful - and began the 2012 season with two hundreds against West Indies to put him within touching distance of the most by an England batsman. Magoffin
Thin, tall and fast, Steve Magoffin is a successful Western Australian import who has stepped comfortably into the first-class arena since leaving Queensland. With the state’s bowling stocks faltering, the Warriors looked to Magoffin, who was a Queensland Academy of Sport player, and he made his debut in 2004-05, playing every Pura Cup match and adding 28 wickets at 35.10. At 194cm, Magoffin has a similar frame to his mentor Greg Rowell, the former Australia A bowler, and he is an especially intimidating prospect on the WACA. He can also swing the ball and has been responsible for big hauls, including a career-best 8 for 47 against South Australia in 2005-06. He finished that season with 25 victims at 25.52 and then spent the winter in England, where he starred against the touring Sri Lankans with 4 for 14 in their warm-up game against the Sir Paul Getty XI.
Magoffin continued his impressive run in 2006-07 with 33 wickets at 27.57 and he was equal third on the FR Cup tally with 15 victims at 23.73. The wickets kept coming the following summer when he picked up 35 in the Pura Cup at 25.48 and was the state’s leading FR Cup bowler with 14 victims at 27.21. A successful spell with Worcestershire followed for Magoffin, who went even higher after another strong home campaign. Having captured 38 breakthroughs in the 2008-09 Sheffield Shield, he was flown to South Africa as a stand-by player for the injury-hit national squad.
Magoffin is a regular in County cricket and had spells at Leicestershire, Worcestershire and Surrey before signing with Sussex ahead of the 2012 season. He was an immediate success there taking 7 for 37 in his debut for the county to deliver Sussex victory over Lancashire.
A level two coach, Magoffin was a consistent wicket-taker for Queensland in the national 2nd XI competition before moving west despite being offered a contract with his home state. He was a part-time Academy scholarship holder in 2001 and wishes he could play the guitar.