ODIs key to Tredwell ambitions

Blackpool Citizen: James Tredwell is hoping to impress against West Indies James Tredwell is hoping to impress against West Indies

James Tredwell's 33rd year may prove the biggest of his professional career, but he knows he must concentrate on the here and now if he is to make the most of golden opportunities ahead.

In the absence of the retired Graeme Swann, Tredwell is one of a clutch of aspirants to the vacant position of England's number one spinner in all formats.

The former Kent captain - he gave up that role to concentrate on England ambitions at the end of last summer - will celebrate his 32nd birthday on Thursday.

One day later, England play the first match of three in a one-day international series Tredwell rightly identifies as highly significant for several of the tourists.

The proximity of the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, and even three short-format matches against the Windies in Barbados before then, has perhaps taken some attention from three 50-over matches in Antigua first.

The fixtures may even be seen by some as having a Twenty20 focus, with several regulars such as captain Alastair Cook and his fellow opener Ian Bell rested so that others can prepare for an impending world tournament.

But after England's miserable winter in all formats in Australia, with limited-overs coach Ashley Giles apparently at the head of the queue to succeed Andy Flower as team director and an ODI World Cup on the horizon in less than a year's time, for all sorts of reasons performances and results will surely count at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

"These three one-dayers are a big part of a lot of people's careers," said Tredwell.

"People will be looking to put their names forward for all forms of cricket.

"We want to do it in the right way, and work on things we want to take into the Twenty20 World Cup.

"But equally, individuals want to put their names forward - which is a promising place to be, really."

Long-term futures may depend on the impressions made in the next week.

With just one Test and 35 limited-overs matches for England under his belt - largely as Swann's understudy - over the past four years, Tredwell knows he has more to win or lose than most.

He is likely to be putting any extra pressure on himself with bold statements of intent, however.

"It's an exciting time," he said, for England's young brigade of talented strokemakers - and, of course, for a certain off-spinner hoping that a 14-year professional career to date might have a late international flowering.

"You've got a lot of exciting younger players ... and some exciting senior ones as well!

"We will get things wrong along the way, I'm sure. But if we learn from those, and improve our skills as we go, it is an interesting time for the team.

"I need to make sure I get myself in the team, first and foremost, and then take those opportunities.

"I'm sure the other guys, with the options we've got in the spin department, will be trying to do the same thing."

Tredwell already has one high-profile scalp to his name, especially in these parts, having kickstarted England's victory over West Indies in the 2011 World Cup by seeing off the big-hitting Chris Gayle lbw.

He finished with four for 48, in only his fourth ODI, but perhaps understandably has mixed feelings about the fact he will have to wait until the Barbados Twenty20s at least for Gayle to recover from injury so that he can bowl at him again.

"Yes and no! I think that was more luck than judgment," Tredwell said of his success against Gayle in Chennai.

"He's a great player, and whenever you come across the world's best you want to test your skills against them.

"Fortunately I came off (best) last time ... you never know what might happen next time but you'd like to test yourself, that's for sure."

Tredwell found enough in the pitch, at the venue to be used against the Windies, to take three important wickets in Tuesday's warm-up victory over a UWI Vice-Chancellor's XI.

He said: "I guess you come to these parts of the world ... you do sort of sniff a bit of an opportunity so I'll be looking to grab that if it does come around."

Individuals have much to play for, but as a collective England need to put behind them as quickly as possible this winter's dismal sequence of results in Australia.

In Tredwell's line of work, age often proves no barrier and can be an aid to success.

"Thanks for saying I'm another year older," he said.

"But I'm actually feeling in pretty good nick, so I'll just be getting out there and doing my best.

"Every opportunity you get is a big one. It probably is slightly enhanced (at the moment)."

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