England told to recall James Vince: 'There's nothing else out there!'

Monday, September 10th, 2018 12:30pm

By James Gray @jamestingray

England hopeful James Vince has the backing of ex-selector Angus Fraser

England cricketer James Vince has been chosen as the man to bat at No 3 by Angus Fraser, a former selector in the national set-up.

Angus Fraser says he would still pick James Vince to bat at No 3 for England because of the dearth of other options available.

With Alastair Cook retiring from international cricket, England will have to blood at least one new opening batsman during their winter tour of Sri Lanka.

Keaton Jennings looks likely to hang onto his place despite averaging less than 25 in Test cricket while all-rounder Moeen Ali is the latest man to have been given the task of filling the troublesome No 3 spot.

And Fraser, who spent four years as a selector for England before stepping down when Ed Smith took over earlier this year, reckons that another recall for James Vince (13 Tests, 548 runs at an average of 24.90) is almost inevitable.

“I’d be tempted to [pick Vince],” Fraser told Ian Stone’s Comedy Breakfast.

“He’s had a pretty good season, he’s scored runs for Hampshire in the first division and he was in the last Test squad.

“Is he England’s No 3? That could be an option moving forward…I would certainly consider James Vince.

“Having picked him in the past and watched him, yes there’s been a frustration in the way that he’s got out and it seems to be a consistent thing.

“But equally, sometimes in the winter, I watched him and it was almost the first false shot he made that cost him.Angus Fraser was part of the group who gave James Vince his England debut

“You had other batsmen playing and missing… like he was run out on 80-odd in the first Test match… with other batsmen, shies at the stumps missed. On that occasion, it hit.

“I’d persevere with James because he’s as good as anything that’s out there.”

Vince has often been criticised for playing an attractive but ultimately futile game, producing textbook cover drives invariably edging the ball behind early in his innings.

And Fraser, now solely director of cricket at Middlesex, does not envy his replacement’s job of having to balance so many different problems in the batting order.

“With Joe Root dropping down to four, which almost implies that it’s where he’d rather bat, with Cook going and with Keaton Jennings by no means having assured himself of a place going forward, England have got to find three, haven’t they?” Fraser added.

“They’ve got to find a top three. Keaton is in there, everybody has been talking about Rory Burns and the fact that he’s scored thousands of runs for Surrey and yes, he’s got to be treated seriously.

“But finding others is not easy unless you start slinging Moeen Ali up there but I don’t think that’s a long-term option.

“Ed Smith, the national selector, has certainly got his hands full trying to work out England’s top three moving forward.”

Listen to Ian Stone's Comedy Breakfast every weekday from 6.30am until 10.30am live on Love Sport Radio or listen to his full interview with Angus Fraser below.

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