Compton eyes Test place after half-century
NICK Compton is hoping to take his dream of playing for England to the next level, with a Test debut in Ahmedabad.
Compton's unbeaten 64 on the final day of the tour match against Mumbai A means he 'won' his duel with Joe Root at the Dr DY Patil Sports Stadium.
The two contenders to replace the retired Andrew Strauss as new Test captain Alastair Cook's opening partner, in the first of four Tests against India, had two opportunities to press their claims in a match which yesterday finished in a predictable draw.
Root managed a pair of 20s. But Compton, pictured, already preferred to the young Yorkshireman in the opening match against India A last week, followed his duck there and just a single in the first innings here with an increasingly confident, if painstaking, half-century.
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"I definitely needed that," said the 29-year-old Somerset batsman, after England had first bowled out their hosts for 286 for a lead of 59 and then closed on 149-2.
"It's not been the ideal start, to be honest, but I just think you need to give yourself a bit of time."
Compton did not panic after his first two failures, and can probably now consider himself pencilled in for the final warm-up match against Haryana.
"It is natural in a squad that everyone is vying for a place, and I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have an eye on that opening spot," said Compton.
"I took a bit of confidence from getting the nod in the first game, and that is why I was disappointed not to take the initial chance."
After ten days in India, and a handful at England's Dubai training camp before that, the experience so far is all Compton hoped it would be.
"It has been a dream come true," he said. "Just to be around these guys has been fantastic, guys I've watched for years and look up to.
"The guys have been accepting, and I've loved the last ten days – apart from the low scores."
Compton has learned, with maturity, not to put undue pressure on himself – and worked out he needed to be patient in his latest challenge, too.
"It is a new country, a new place to play, a new team – so perhaps I was a bit hard on myself," he said.
"For me the most important thing was to spend time in the middle, and the more balls I can face in these conditions then the better and it will bode for the future.
"I'm delighted to have spent some time out there and get used to the conditions."
England will tomorrow be joined by Stuart Meaker, called in as cover for Steven Finn, after he received his visa to travel to India.
Tour match, Mumbai: England 345-9 dec (J M Bairstow 118, E J G Morgan 76, S R Patel 60) & 149-2 (N R D Compton 64 no) v Mumbai A 286 (H N Shah 92, C A Pujara 87). Match drawn.