A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: I am looking to become England’s new opening batsman, says Nick Compton

Compton believes he is starting to get to grips with the conditions in India

Somerset batsman Nick Compton has announced that he is looking to become England Test captain Alastair Cook’s new opening partner after scoring a half century in the second innings of their match against Mumbai A and adding two more in the recently concluded warm up match against Haryana.

Compton noted that he should be picked ahead of Yorkshire’s Joe Root considering the form he has been in over the past two warm up matches.

“It’s quite easy with just three games before the first Test to start working out permutations and it’s quite natural as everyone in the squad is vying for places, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have an eye on that opening spot. I did take a bit of confidence from getting the nod in the first game which is why I was disappointed at not taking that initial chance. It’s been and gone. I’ve been working with the coaches, speaking to people who have done consistently well out here. That knowledge is important given I’ve been playing most of my cricket in England in the last two years,” Compton said.

Compton scored 1494 first-class runs last season at an outstanding average of nearly 100 and after former Test captain Andrew Strauss announced his retirement over the summer, the national selectors were quick to include the Somerset batsman in their plans.

Despite having a rocky start to his tour of India, Compton stated that he was starting to get more comfortable with the conditions, his foot movement and his stroke play as well.

“It’s not been the ideal start, sometimes you have to give yourself time. It’s a new country, a new bunch of team-mates so it does take a bit of time. Perhaps I was a bit hard on myself but for me the most important thing was to spend some time out in the middle as early as I could. The more balls I faced and the more time I spent will help for future games. You need a foundation, somewhere to build from. I feel like this has given me three hours in the middle. I think I got my balance back and the feet got moving. Earlier in the game my feet weren’t moving that well and I got caught out, but that can happen. We’ve had six, seven weeks off in England and then you come here and that can happen. You just have to switch on quickly and hopefully build from strengths,” Compton added.

Even though Compton has been focused on scoring runs throughout the warm up matches, he admitted that the thought of being selected to become the national team’s new opening batsman had crept into his mind from time to time.

“Everyone needs to score runs and show form to get picked, it’s fairly common sense. I thought Joe played well in the first innings, looked good, batted for a good length of time. This innings it was good to get a score that I desperately needed. As soon as you put one eye on who’s playing and who’s not you take one eye off the ball. I’ve done it before. For me it was just about scoring runs, spending time in the middle, which is something I’ve done consistently well over the last year,” Compton said.

The Somerset batsman is known to be as patient as they come since he leaves all good pitched deliveries and takes full advantage of anything short pitched or too full of a length.

“You just have to stay true to your processes. Everyone has a couple of key things that keep them grounded and going ball after ball. The key is to try and stick to that. Today I felt my leaving was more assured, I played the balls I had to. It’s very easy to know what not to do when you come here. It’s my first tour, I desperately want to do well but if you try too hard, if you try to force it, it can go the other way. You want to be ambitious, hungry and take your chance but at the same time you want to stay calm and composed. You have to maintain a balance and trust that you’ve played well over the year and can continue that here,” Compton added.

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