England opener James Vince is keen to make the most of the opening that has been created by the absence of the axed regular opener Alex Hales.
Hales was withdrawn from England’s squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 last month, which has left an opening spot up for grabs. While Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow seem likely to be England’s first-choice openers, Vince now has a golden chance to make the squad for the marquee tournament as a reserve opener.
It would be a huge break for Vince in what has been a stop-start international career, where he has played 13 Tests since his debut in 2016, and eight games each in the two limited-overs formats, where he debuted in 2015.
“It's the nature of the way the white-ball side has gone over the last three or four years,” Vince said. “They've played some magnificent cricket and got to No.1 in the world, so it's been a tough team to break into.
“When I have played, it's been to pop-in for a game, knowing that when the main guys are fit, I'd be out again unless I did something remarkable. All I can do is my best when I do play, and try to force my way into becoming a regular in the squad and then taking chances.”
Vince was part of the XI for the one-off one-day international against Ireland and the only Twenty20 international against Pakistan. While he was dismissed early in the ODI, he played a part in England’s victory in the T20I against Pakistan, where his 27-ball 36 paved the way for a successful chase of 174.
All I can do is my best when I do play, and try to force my way into becoming a regular in the squad and then taking chances.
Just over a week before that, he made his career-best List A score of 190, for Hampshire against Gloucestershire in the One-Day Cup. "I got asked about aspirations at the start of the summer in regards to white-ball cricket and I said I'd do as well as I can for Hampshire,” he said. “Pleased to start the season well, and as things turned out, I'm here and involved now.
"The plan for the rest of the series is to get a game or two and, hopefully, push my case ahead of the World Cup."