GEELONG batting sensation Eamonn Vines admits he was pinching himself playing alongside the likes of Cameron White and Pete Handscomb during his Sheffield Shield debut for Victoria last week.
The Bushrangers kept their title hopes alive after chasing down 253 in the fourth innings against South Australia on Sunday, with Handscomb (114 not out) and White (50) sealing victory with a superb 138-run fourth-wicket partnership.
White’s effort followed on from his first innings knock of 149, and Vines said seeing the pair up close was a surreal feeling.
“Cam White and Pete Handscomb both put on absolute clinics … and not only to be playing with them but to watch them dominate and play so well and then be a part of it with them was pretty special,” Vines said.
“I was absolutely pinching myself and trying to take as much in as I could from those guys because they are so talented and have been in the system for so long. They perform all the time so to be a part of it was pretty good.
“It takes a bit of adjusting realising that you’re in the same team as these guys.
“You see them on the TV doing outstanding things and then to be actually playing with them is pretty amazing.”
Vines’ debut produced entirely contrasting performances, with his first innings score of 27 coming from 108 balls and his second innings yielding 23 in short time as the Bushrangers surged to victory.
The 24-year-old said he had been encouraged by the confidence shown in him by the Victorian coaching staff, led by Andrew McDonald, and would be aiming to contribute in a positive manner again when he walks out on the MCG today against Queensland.
“Andrew McDonald has given me a lot of confidence and belief and he has told me my style of play is up to Shield cricket. He said to be able to stick it out in that first innings and face over 100 balls and not only get myself into the contest but make the bowlers keep bowling was a real positive,” Vines said.
“Looking at this game (against Queensland) you want to go out there and adjust to the conditions, whatever they might be, so the first thing I want to do is assess what the pitch is going to be like and what their bowlers are doing and then hopefully you get yourself in the game.
“If I can get myself in the contest with a start then I can see what the next step is to make sure I’m able to go on and get a bigger score. That’s why taking in information from what other players are saying about the pitch conditions and what the bowlers are like helps you if you get a start to go on and get a big score.”
LACHIE YOUNG, Geelong Advertiser - February 16, 2018 12:00am