THE calls to include James Vince in England’s one-day set-up are gathering pace by the minute, but former opener Mark Butcher doesn’t see why his international involvement should stop there.
After a disastrous World Cup, several pundits have called for the Hampshire man to be given the chance to show what he can do.
Vince is yet to feature for England’s senior side.
But he has demonstrated his talent at the Ageas Bowl, smashing three centuries and 13 half-centuries in his 80 matches so far.
He fired 140 in the first innings of Hampshire’s friendly draw with Loughborough.
And the 24-year-old has shown he is also dangerous when it comes to red ball cricket, helping himself to knocks of 78 and an unbeaten 152 in two unofficial Tests against South Africa with the England Lions back in January.
It wasn’t quite enough to see Vince called up for England’s three-Test series against West Indies in the Caribbean.
But Butcher believes it is a matter of when, and not if, the Hampshire ace will be starring for the Three Lions.
‘You’ve got guys like James Vince who will maybe be knocking on the door for the 50-over format but who knows, maybe for the Test format as well,’ said Butcher.
‘He’s a fantastic player. He’s not the youngest guy any more but that doesn’t matter – what matters is how well he’s playing.
‘He’s always had flair and a willingness to strike the ball but now he has allied that with the ability to make big scores and get a lot of runs.
‘The leadership seems to have suited him well down there at Hampshire in certain formats as well.
‘He’s a guy that’s a real talent and it would be wonderful to see if he could cut it at the highest level.’
Despite missing out on selection this time around, Vince will be hoping a successful County Championship division one campaign with Hampshire will see him propelled into the reckoning for this summer’s Ashes.
But whatever happens between now and then, Butcher is under no illusions as to how difficult it will be to topple the Aussies – especially after how badly England performed in Australia and New Zealand in the World Cup.
‘I don’t see how the World Cup can’t have an effect on the Ashes,’ added Butcher.
‘Even if it has no effect on England’s Test team, the effect it will have on the Australian side in terms of their confidence and their feeling of superiority, will make an enormous amount of difference.
‘Let’s not forget, they beat us 5-0 last time we played against them, so they won’t be coming over with any trepidation.’
Hampshire were unable to force a win against Loughborough yesterday.
The Ageas Bowl side had posted 474 for four in the first innings and 236 for four declared in the second.
Loughborough were all out for 149 in their first innings, with Liam Dawson taking three wickets, but Hampshire were denied a chance to bowl again.
n Keep up to date with the LV=County Championship this season with Mark Butcher’s weekly match previews and highlights of every game. Visit ecb.co.uk/lvcc to discover where Test stars are made.