England are set to announce squad for the Pakistan Tests on Tuesday.
James Vince has boosted his chances of retaining his spot in the England Test side with a double-century in the County Championship.
Vince, the Hampshire captain, was unbeaten on 201 as his side came back from behind to draw their match against Somerset on Monday 14 May.
The 514-minute knock was the longest of his first-class career. Starting the fourth morning on 63, he linked up with South Africa’s Hashim Amla, who also brought up a hundred, and batted through the day.
Hampshire finished on 432/4 to add to their first-innings 231, while Somerset posted 506.
With the England selectors set to announce the squad on Tuesday, Vince’s knock was timely. He made 74 in his last Test, against New Zealand in Christchurch, but his returns leading up to it were patchy.
“I haven't been thinking too much about England selection and the innings was mainly for the team, but hopefully it helps in that direction too,” said Vince after the match.
His innings was uncharacteristic in that it came off 437 balls, with the batsmen showing discipline and patience rather than his regular flair.
“Last season where we had to bat out for a draw, it (his innings) was nowhere near as long as that. Whether it was a target, or you’re just trying to bat for time, you’ve to change the way you play. You just had to get in and grind them down,” he explained. “I still looked to score when I could.
“It gives me quite a lot of belief that if we are in that situation again, I’m capable of facing 400-plus balls again.”