James Vince, who struck his maiden international ton on Tuesday, admitted that he was long-overdue for a century but conceded that he has, in the past, been guilty of throwing away starts. Vince also admitted that, at one point in his career, he thought this moment would never arrive.
A redemption arc was complete at Edgbaston on Tuesday as James Vince, six years after making his international debut, finally broke the duck to get to three figures for the first time in England colours. In 49 previous attempts across formats, Vince had not passed three figures, famously agonizingly falling short on the first day of the 2017/18 Ashes, but the 30-year-old held his nerve in Birmingham on Tuesday as he struck a near-perfect 102 to help England script a 3-0 series win over Pakistan and further assert their status as the best ODI side in the world.
Speaking after the game, Vince admitted that, this time last week, he was realistic about expectations and did not expect a call-up, very well knowing that he had fallen down the pecking order.
“This time last week I didn’t expect [to be in the squad] at all. It wasn’t that I had given up [on playing for England]. But I did have a bit of a shift in mindset. I’d had a realisation I wasn’t going to be in the squad and that I wasn’t high up in the pecking order,” Vince said on Tuesday.
Renowned to be one of the most stylish batters in the world, Vince, often in the past, has been guilty of throwing his wicket away after scoring ‘pretty 20s and 30s’. In this series, however, the right-hander re-wrote the script, and in two innings scored a fifty and a century. Vince said that this ton was ‘long overdue’, but admitted that what people said about him – of being inconsistent – was fully true.
“I know the opinions people have on my career: that I get starts but don’t go on and make big contributions. And opinions are like that because it’s been the case. This innings is a bit overdue.
“But hopefully this will give me more confidence. And other people as well. Hopefully some other people in the dressing room will know that I’m capable of doing it now.”
England’s embarrassment of riches in white-ball cricket has meant that Vince, despite being supremely talented, never got an extended run in the team, underpinned by the fact that, prior to this series, he’d played only 16 ODIs across six years. The 30-year-old was grateful for finally getting a string of three matches, that enabled him to showcase his talent.
“My opportunities have been quite spread out over four or five years,” he said. “I’ve usually been filling in for Alex Hales or Jason Roy. That white-ball team has done so well. I’ve always been on the fringes and playing here and there. Coming into this series and playing three in a row was quite nice.”
Vince got his opportunity in the first place owing to a Covid outbreak in the senior camp, and in all likelihood, he will go back to being a fringe player once the seniors return. Realistic about his expectations, the Hampshire man admitted that this ton will be no guarantee of a regular place in the white-ball squad, but hoped for the score to keep him in the radar.
“I don’t know when the next opportunity will be or if there will be another one,” he said.
“It’s one innings in white-ball cricket. Hopefully it keeps me on the radar. But I’m not going to get my hopes up. I’ve proved something to myself and hopefully others. But I’m realistic. I know how well the squad have done.”