Vince in the frame for Test selection

England

The uncapped James Vince's stocks continue to rise, ahead of England's announcement of the Test squad for June's two-match series against Sri Lanka.

The uncapped James Vince's stocks continue to rise, ahead of England's announcement of the Test squad for June's two-match series against Sri Lanka.

Vince, the left-handed Eoin Morgan and the diminutive James Taylor are – effectively – competing for a berth in the middle-order in the wake of the outspoken Kevin Pietersen's exile.

A marvelous 144 not out for Hampshire against Gloucestershire in Bristol and an outstanding 159 versus Surrey in Southampton, in particular, inspired praise from former limited-overs coach and national selector Ashley Giles.

"I really like Vince. He matured a lot while on the Performance Programme in Australia. He has got a lot of scope but I think it's a bit early right now for him," Giles told <i>Sky Sports News</i>.

"Eoin is worth considering, his first-class record isn't fantastic but he's a tough, tough bloke to have in that middle order. But I don't think we should think about Taylor either, who is a very good player. If Ben Stokes is fit I would bat him at seven behind Matt Prior."

All-rounder Ben Stokes won't be considered due to a hand injury sustained during the tour of the West Indies earlier this year, while the positions of the Zimbabwe-born Gary Ballance and the talented Joe Root in a middle order brimming with opportunity remained in the balance this week.

"England have options in a couple of positions and Gary spot is one where there are a number of options. Joe was dropped for that final Test but I can't see any way that he isn't going to be in," added Giles.

The Australian-born Sam Robson, who recently qualified to play for England, has emerged as the firm favourite to open the batting alongside Alastair Cook at Lord's and Headingley.

A superb century for Middlesex against Nottinghamshire and another versus Hampshire have characterised the right-hander's talent recently, while twin tons for the England Lions against Sri Lanka A ensured a prolific February.

"Robson has committed his future to playing for England – that's good enough for me – but there is a lot of cricket to be played before that first Test team is announced and some of the guys will have more opportunities than others," concluded Giles.

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