Compton finds form in the Nick of time as he fights for opening spot against India
23:21 GMT, 5 November 2012
Nick Compton spoke of his relief after grinding out a 'desperately needed' half-century to make a break in the race to open for England with Alastair Cook in the first Test against India.
With Joe Root — his rival for the second opening slot — falling for 24 on the final afternoon of the drawn three-day game against Mumbai A, Compton got his head down for an unbeaten 64 in 52 overs and put a nightmare start to his first senior tour behind him.
England have one more warm-up match, a four-day game against Haryana starting on Thursday, before the first Test begins in Ahmedabad on November 15.
Let me in: Nick Compton wants to be part of the England line-up for the first Test against India
MUMBAI 'A' vs ENGLAND
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Compton is now in pole position to pip Root to a debut cap.
'I definitely needed that,’ he said after beginning the tour with scores of nought and one. ‘It’s not been the ideal start but I just think you need to give yourself a bit of time. It is a new country, a new place to play, a new team, so perhaps I was a bit hard on myself.
'The most important thing was to spend time in the middle. I got the balance back and the feet going and I got the score I desperately needed.’
In contention: Joe Root is also an option for England
The Mumbai bowling may not have been
from the top drawer, but Compton built a reputation for remorselessness
during a first-class summer that brought him nearly 1,500 first-class
runs for Somerset and England Lions at an average of almost 100. He
looked in no mood to blow his chance after Root had padded up to a
Shardul Thakur delivery which swung in to trap him leg before.
That left 21-year-old Root with
scores of 28 and 24, plus a wicket for his occasional off-spin, but
Compton’s selection in the tour opener against India A last week
suggested he began the trip ahead — and his 162-ball stay looks set to
keep him there.
Cause for concern: Stuart Broad was unable to bowl for England on Monday
Jonathan Trott made 30 and there was
a gratifying cameo from Ian Bell, who was fortunate to be dropped first
ball at backward short leg, before England closed on 149 for two.
Vice-captain Stuart Broad took the
field in the morning after a scan confirmed he had a bruised left heel,
but he was unable to bowl and will be rested for the Haryana match.
Stuart Meaker was due to join the
tour this morning as cover for Steven Finn, who has a thigh niggle, and
could play on Thursday in a seam line-up also including Tim Bresnan and
Onions struck in his first over on Monday but it was left-arm spinners Monty Panesar and Samit Patel who
engineered a Mumbai collapse of eight for 76.
Of the home players on show, only
Cheteshwar Pujara, who made a classy 87 on Sunday, was named Monday
in a 15-man India Test squad that includes the recalled Singhs, Yuvraj
and Harbhajan. For Yuvraj, who will bat at No 6, it will be a first Test
appearance for a year, and an emotional return following a battle with