Tremlett's switch to Surrey helps him turn back clock in Ashes after solitary Indian summer

Chris Tremlett has trodden a tortuous path back into Test cricket but he grabbed his chance as England took another giant stride towards retaining the Ashes.

The 6ft 8in seam bowler bagged recalled Australia opener Phil Hughes in his first over to get England up and running in the third Test at the WACA.

Doubtless thankful for first use of a green pitch, Tremlett (3-63) and James Anderson (3-61) soon had Australia in familiar trouble.

Half-centuries from Michael Hussey (61), Brad Haddin (53) and Mitchell Johnson (62) hauled the hosts to 268 all out, before England closed day one on 29-0.

From 69-5, when Tremlett, 29, made Steven Smith his third victim, the home fightback was considerable.

Even so, if the day belonged to anyone, it was Tremlett.

Afterwards he emphasised that, by engineering his own move last winter from his native Hampshire to a less comfortable and more challenging environment at Surrey, he can make telling decisions off the pitch, too.

Reflecting on the impact he has already made on the series after replacing the injured Stuart Broad, he said: "This was definitely a big step in my career, to hit my straps straightaway and contribute to such an important game.

"People can say I'm a gentle giant if they want. But when I get the ball in my hand I try my hardest, and try to be aggressive.

"It comes from within. If you want something bad enough you work out how to do it.

"Obviously, there's been a little bit of frustration but I've worked hard to get back to where I want to be. I always had aspirations to play for England again, so it's great to get the chance."

The final stage of that journey back into the Test arena – his three previous caps all came at home to India in the summer of 2007 – was to conquer his nerves in front of an expectant, sell-out crowd.

It was only on Wednesday that Tremlett was told that, as expected, he rather than either of Yorkshire pair Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad would take Broad's place at this traditionally bouncy venue.

"When I woke up this morning I was very nervous, but when I got into my stride and bowled my first over, and got the wicket, I felt at ease and tried to enjoy the experience.

"I felt I bowled pretty well when I did play against India," he said. "But a few injuries – my body let me down – meant things just not going quite the way I wanted to.

"What I wanted to do was play for England. It's taken a while to get back to where I wanted to be. But at the moment, I feel fitter and stronger than ever and I'm very happy with my action."

As for that move to London, he added: "It wasn't too hard a decision. I decided myself it was something I wanted to do, to get away from the comforts of Hampshire – with the same people.

"I wanted to move away from all that, to a new county, a new pitch, a new place – and straightaway, I felt very welcome at Surrey.

"I think I've grown up a bit; I'm more experienced as a cricketer, and know my game a lot more. I just think I'm a better bowler than I was three years ago."

If it was going to happen for Tremlett anywhere, it was surely going to be at the WACA, where victory would give England a 2-0 lead with two Tests remaining.

But he still had to make the most of conditions and no-one could quibble with the way Tremlett worked Hughes over with short deliveries and then went for the killer blow at a fuller length.

Anderson, whose three wickets have taken him to 199 in Tests, was indebted to a superb one-handed catch by Paul Collingwood leaping high to his right to see Ricky Ponting off cheaply again – while Tremlett's successes were more routine yet expertly-achieved.

"I was desperate to play in any Test. But this wicket has bounced, and I hope it's proved to be the right selection."

Western Australia left-hander Hussey, who completed his fourth 50 in as many attempts in this series, said: "He hit the seam a lot. In the first session, he got it to seam both ways – which is quite a challenge to play."