Joe Root believes James Vince will feel right at home in Test cricket.
And England’s vice captain reckons the Hampshire talent will raise his game to a new level when he graces the sport’s biggest stage.
Vince was yesterday named in the squad for the first Test of the summer against Sri Lanka at Headingley.
Nottinghamshire seamer Jake Ball is the other uncapped player in the party for the game, which begins next Thursday.
For Vince, who has already earned one-day international and t20 caps, it is the realisation of a lifelong dream.
The 25-year-old’s batting style has often been compared to that of former England skipper Michael Vaughan.
But as he prepares to slot in at five against the tourists, Root reckons he has the class to make a mark all of his own.
He said: ‘I honestly think James is one of those players who will come into international cricket and really raise his game. He has a fantastic temperament and a solid game, which fits beautifully for Test cricket.
‘Given the opportunity, I’m sure he will take to it and show his class.
‘James has that very classical cover drive and the swivel pull – two shots that Vaughany is remembered for – but I think he is his own player. I am really looking forward to him stamping his mark on Test cricket and showing everyone what he can do.
‘He will be desperate to make a name for himself rather than be compared to someone else. He is a fine player and I am really excited he is in the squad.’
At 25, Root is the same age as both Vince and Ball.
But with 39 Tests under his belt, he is an established force – as he sits proudly at number two in the Test batting world rankings.
However, if he welcomes Vince to the crease next Thursday – Root will keep his advice short and sweet.
‘The only advice I would give him is relax and just enjoy the whole occasion – try not to let it get the better of you,’ he said.
Vince intends to do just that – on his return to the venue where a County Championship century against holders Yorkshire last month went a long way to sealing his promotion in place of the luckless James Taylor.
The Hampshire skipper said: ‘Obviously I was at Headingley not long ago and it was nice to spend some time in the middle but this is going to be a different feeling.
‘I’m really looking forward to it and I’m going to try to soak it all up and enjoy it.
‘When I was growing up, playing for England in a Test was the number one.
‘It’s something I’ve been aiming for since I was a little kid really.’
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