James Vince handed big raps to his captain, Eoin Morgan, after blazing England to T20 victory in New Zealand.
Morgan, who has skippered the Three Lions in white-ball cricket since 2015, thought long and hard about his future following victory on home soil in the recent 50-over World Cup, before ultimately deciding to continue at least until the World T20 next year.
Vince, whose 59 off 38 balls eased the visitors to a seven-wicket win chasing 155 in Christchurch, sighted the captain’s affirmative decision as a significant boost to the England camp.
"What he's built over the last four years is incredible - to take the team from where they were to winning the World Cup," said Vince.
"I know he'd be a massive loss if he wasn't here, especially with a tour like this with lots of new guys coming in.
"His leadership is outstanding so he'll be great for the young guys here. Everyone's hoping he carries on for as long as possible."
With Surrey’s Sam Curran, Somerset’s Lewis Gregory and Worcestershire’s Pat Brown making their T20 International debuts, England shrugged off their lack of experience by restricting the Kiwis to 153-5 from their 20 overs.
Former Notts Outlaw, Ross Taylor, top-scored for the hosts with 44 – whilst all five bowlers utilised my Morgan conceded less than 8.25 runs-per-over.
England, with Jonny Bairstow (35), Morgan (34*) and Vince to the fore, eased to their victory total with nine deliveries to spare.
The Hampshire right-hander, who featured as Alex Hales’ replacement in the victorious World Cup campaign, is however under no illusions regarding the size of his task to retain a place in his country’s T20 XI.
Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Jos Buttler are rested from the current series and likely to return for the ICC World T20 in a month’s time, with competition for places set to elevate significantly when he returns.
"The side's been so successful and dominant over the last three or four years, it's a tough first XI to break into," said the 28-year-old, who hit seven fours and two sixes in his stylish innings batting at number three.
"But any opportunities like this to push my case and try to be part of the squad, as I was this summer for the World Cup, is my aim.
"With some of the main guys missing, it would be nice to get a bit of a run in the side, post some scores and make some match-winning contributions.
“Runs in an England shirt are always going to help you. It's a good start and hopefully I can build on it and continue throughout the series and try to make an impact on it myself."
England lead the five-match T20 series 1-0 with the second fixture set to take place at Wellington in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Eoin Morgan’s world champions will face Ireland in a One-Day International at Trent Bridge on Thursday 10 September 202o. Secure your seats…