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Former English skipper and the leading run-scorer for England in Tests, Alastair Cook has backed Hampshire batsman James Vince to make a comeback in the upcoming Ashes. Cook feels James Vince will be one of the openers for the tour. England has faced several problems in the past since the retirement of Andrew Strauss in 2012.
The English selectors have tried out 13 different opening combinations for Cook since the retirement of Andrew Strauss in 2012. Meanwhile, Alastair Cook retired last year scoring a century in his last Test against India. All of Cook’s opening partners didn’t manage to hold their spots and eventually Cook had to be settled with different opening partners.
During the series defeat against Windies a month and a half ago, it was Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings who opened in the first and the 3rd Test. Meanwhile, Joe Denly made his Test debut for England and opened the innings in the 2nd Test. He batted at No 3 in the next Test as Keaton Jennings returned to the set-up to open with Rory Burns.
Meanwhile, James Vince has had a stop-start Test career so far. He has played 13 matches in Tests so far and has failed to score a century yet. He has scored 3 half-centuries with a high score of 83 against Australia in Brisbane.
James Vince was dropped from the English Test squad for a couple of matches against Pakistan at the beginning of the 2018 summer. Vince made 76 in his final Test innings against New Zealand. He had a relatively poor outing in the Ashes as he ended up scoring 242 runs in just 5 Tests at an average of 26.88.
“I’ve always thought Vincey’s a fantastic cricketer,” he said. “You know, that 80-odd at Brisbane in the first Ashes Test — you’re a serious player to play as he did against that attack in that situation after all the build-up and pressure over five or six weeks before that. England hasn’t seen the best of him but the move up to the top of the order could be what he needs to do it.
“I’ve sat and watched him play and dreamed of some of the shots he can play. I hope he doesn’t score too many runs against Essex but I think the top of the order could suit him really well. If he came back into the side and did really well, I’d be very proud.”
It is expected that James Vince will open the batting for Hampshire in the 2019 County Championship after being advised by skipper Joe Root and chief selector ED Smith.
“The feedback I have got is the higher up the order you bat, the better,” he told BBC Radio Solent. “They’re more willing to move people down the order rather than up.
“I guess with how the winter has gone, it probably looks from afar that at the top of the order is where spaces may open up. I don’t think just opening the batting is going to make a difference, but opening and doing it well will.”
The Ashes will start just after the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup which is also slated to be played in England and Wales from 30th May. After their exceptional performance against India and Pakistan in their previous two ODI series, Australia has again made a strong case in the World Cup and it shouldn’t be a surprise if Australia goes on to lift the World Cup for the 6th time.