ROOT BACK­ING VINCE TO SI­LENCE CRIT­ICS DOWN UN­DER

Daily Mirror - - SPORTS - BY DEAN WIL­SON

ASHES cap­tain Joe Root has backed James Vince to thrive in Aus­tralia, de­spite his mea­gre re­turns so far in Test cricket.

But the player him­self has ad­mit­ted his shock at the lucky call up, that has given him the nod over Tom West­ley to bat at three, with Gary Bal­lance set to com­pete with him dur­ing the warm-ups.

“It is very spe­cial,” said Vince (right). “To play for Eng­land last sum­mer was spe­cial, but to be called up for an Ashes tour is prob­a­bly the best thing that can hap­pen.

“It has come from nowhere re­ally. I had my win­ter planned out with my T20 stuff and hadn’t re­ally thought about a call-up. It has come as a sur­prise and, hope­fully, I can get out there and play a part and do well.” The

pair were named along­side three un­capped ad­di­tions, in the shape of leg-spin­ner Ma­son Crane, seam-bowler Craig Over­ton, and back-up keeper Ben Foakes.

Root said: “Vincey’s game sets up beau­ti­fully for the con­di­tions out there (in Aus­tralia). He scores well off the back foot and hits the ball at the top of the bounce.

“He looks to put pres­sure on the op­po­si­tion, when they miss their mark, and has a game that could travel well.

“It is an ex­cit­ing time and a great chance for us to do some­thing spe­cial. In those five games, your squad has to stand up bet­ter than the op­po­si­tion and we feel this squad can do that.”

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