Flower: Vince pushing hard for Test selection


Andy Flower, coach of England Lions and in charge of the country's Performance Programme, thinks James Vince is ready to be selected for the Tests against Sri Lanka and Pakistan this summer.

The 25-year-old Vince has played in one ODI and four T20Is, and was part of England's squad at the World T20, but is yet to make his debut in the longest format of game.

The England selectors have tough calls to make regarding the composition of their bating order with opener Alex Hales and number three Nick Compton in danger of being dropped while the retirement of James Taylor has opened up a vacancy at number five.

A former Zimbabwe international batsman who averaged more than 50 in 63 Tests, Flower believes the being the captain of Hampshire has helped Vince with his batting.

Flower said: "He has learnt a lot about himself over the last few years. I'd be surprised if he's not pushing hard for selection for that first Test. Tactically he's very astute and very calm.

"His players like playing for him and he communicated very well with his bowlers.  I think he's really started to enjoy the responsibility of captaincy and that's been great to see.

"That's very much part of our job, to give them these experiences."

The right-handed Vince does not have the best first-class average – 41.29 after 108 games – having made his debut for Hampshire in 2009, but former England captain Michael Vaughan feels Vince should be selected.

Vaughan himself was selected for England when he only had a first-class average of 37 but went to have a successful 82-Test career retiring with an average of 41.44, including 18 centuries.

The now 41-year-old Vaughan said: "You have to try to move the team on with better players and I think Vince is the better player.

"He's played well for Hampshire for many years. He's got the right style of game that might even go to another level when he plays Test cricket."

England's first of three Tests at home against Sri Lanka starts at Headingley on 19 May.