After cutting down his run up and increasing his pace through work with Hampshire team mates Shane Warne and Stuart Clark, Tremlett came back into Test contention in 2007 after a rash of injuries to established bowlers. He played for the England Lions against India in their final warm up game before the first Test and finally made his Test début at Lords against India on 19 July 2007 after Matthew Hoggard was ruled out with a back complaint. His grandfather having played Test cricket, Chris Tremlett became the first grandson of a Test cricketer to make a Test debut without his father having also played Tests. He is also the first Hampshire born Hampshire county cricketer to play a Test in England. He made a pair on debut, but took 4 wickets and during his second match, he took 3 wickets in each innings, and finished with figures of 3/12 as India cruised to a 7-wicket victory needing just 73 to win.
He was selected for the squad for the 2010 Ashes tour to Australia. He was not selected to play in either of the first two tests, but in the first day of the third test, held at Perth, he took 3 wickets for 63 runs, troubling the Australian top order with the steepling bounce allowed for by the WACA surface. He followed that up with 5 for 87 in the Australian second innings. On the first day of the fourth test, the Boxing Day Test held at the MCG, he took 4 for 26 as England skittled Australia out for 98 runs. He took the last wicket in the last test, and with it, England won the series.
During the summer of 2011, in the third match against Sri Lanka, he took his best Test figures of 6/48 as England bowled out Sri Lanka for 184. With 15 dismissals, Tremlett finished as the leading wicket-taker in the series on either side. India toured in July for four Tests, five ODIs, and a T20I. Selected for the opening match of the Test series, Tremlett took 4/124 in England's victory, extracting bounce from the Lord's pitch to trouble the Indian batsmen. However, he was hampered by injury with a hamstring problem on the fourth day of the first Test and a back spasm during pre-match training ahead of the second Test. The back injury prevented Tremlett from playing any further part in the series. In September, for the first time Tremlett was awarded one of 13 central contracts with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) until September 2012.
After testing his fitness in November 2011, he was included in England's squad to play Pakistan in the UAE in the following January. While Tremlett was absent through injury, Tim Bresnan established himself in the team and Tremlett was left competing with Steven Finn for a place in the team. Bresnan suffered an injury and Tremlett was selected in his place for the first Test. However, a back injury ended his tour before the second Test. Examinations revealed the problem was a bulging disc and in February Tremlett underwent surgery.
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