Vince enjoying England chance

Top-order batsman James Vince is relishing his opportunity to shine on the international stage with England.

The Hampshire skipper, a prolific run-scorer in domestic Twenty20 cricket, was handed his long-awaited format debut on the current tour of the United Arab Emirates after being an unused member of the squad during the summer.

Vince, who made his England bow in the rained off one-day international in Ireland last May, said: “I was included in the squad last summer, but didn’t get the chance to play.

“So it’s nice to come out here and get an opportunity – (and) I’m enjoying every minute of it.

“They said at the start I’d get an opportunity to show what I can do.

“I’m thankful for that … leaving Jos (Buttler) and Rooty (Joe Root) out in the first game to give me and (Sam) Billings a go was nice to see, and Sam’s done really well as well.”

Vince has looked at home on the world stage during the first two T20s against Pakistan, hitting scores of 41 and 38 to become the top run-scorer in the series.

Although he has not made a huge total yet, something he does regularly for Hampshire, Vince has been satisfied with his progress.

“It’s been a steady start,” Vince, run out for two in the United Arab Emirates warm-up win, said. “It would have been nice to go on and get a bigger score in one of the games, but I would definitely have taken it at the start of the series.

“I was nervous walking out that first game, in front of a full stadium, but I settled down after a couple of balls and eased into it nicely.”

While his team-mates fly home on Tuesday, Vince will remain in the Middle East to captain England Lions in a five-match T20 series versus Pakistan A.

That series will be another chance for the right-hander to prove his worth in the sprint format ahead of the World Twenty20 in March.

“That will be another tough series,” he said. “I get the chance to captain the Lions, so it will be another good experience.”

Vince is also hoping to follow the path of Alex Hales, who started as a T20 specialist and then advanced into the ODI and Test squads.

“I’d love to play all formats,” he added. “My first chance has come in Twenty20. (But) I hope I can push on, find my way into the 50-over side – and the Test side as well.”

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