England news 2012 April 30, 2012

Compton no longer seeks perfection

ESPNcricinfo staff

Nick Compton has vowed not to waste what he suspects might be his final opportunity to win a place in England's Test side by becoming sidetracked into another impossible search for perfection.

Compton's prolific early-season form for Somerset has won him an England Lions call up against West Indies in Northampton next month and has identified him as the likeliest player to break into a relatively unchanging England top order.

For Compton, the grandson of Denis, one of English cricket's most revered batsmen, it all brings back memories of a successful Lions tour five years ago which turned sour when he was dropped by Middlesex and eventually switched counties to resurrect a faltering career.

"I put a huge amount of pressure on myself after coming back from a successful Lions tour and I really wanted to kick on," Compton has told ESPNcricinfo's senior correspondent George Dobell in a wide-ranging interview. "Looking back, though, I was far too intense. I was trying to attain perfection, and I'm not sure that exists in cricket. I got into a downward spiral. I wanted it all too badly.

"I'm not 21 now. I've played a bit. I'm focused on the immediacy of my career. I'm focused on fulfilling my role for Somerset as well as I can. You learn. I'm a calmer person now and I've settled on a formula that works for me. If I get caught up in aesthetics it takes me down the wrong path.

"I know this might very well be my last chance. And of course I'm excited. I'd love to play for England. I'd bite your arm off. But it's also a distraction. The disappointment I experienced in the past was devastating and I don't want to feel like that again."

Read the full interview here

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  • Mark on May 1, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    @Trickstar: He has opened for Somerset, he scored a double hundred earlier in the season opening the batting.

  • John on May 1, 2012, 7:59 GMT

    Nicko probably could open but Strauss's team leadership on the field probably would be missed more than we'd imagine.If Strauss was going to be ousted it should be now - before WI - as the last thing we want is a new captain being thrown in against SA. Nick probably could do a job in ODIs but I don't like having too many accumulators in the same side but I feel he'd be ideal if Trott was injured. Anyway , we all know how different a standard it is and coming into a struggling batting side is very different from coming into a form batting side. Also as a Somerset fan (admittedly selfishly) I'd be quite pleased if he wasn't picked

  • John on May 1, 2012, 1:39 GMT

    Just to join the Strauss debate, if anyone is to replace Strauss at the moment (given that Hales and Root aren't ready), surely it should be Michael Carberry? He's 31, FC average of 43.70 and has been playing very steadily for years now. In his one test he made a couple of 30s, not a failure for an opener by any means. He's also one of the best fielders in the country. He could play for 2/3 years while the youngsters mature. England has a replacement captain in Cook, so it's just Strauss's batting that is at issue. I'd rather see Carberry in the side than any other opener at present- although moving Trott up to open would be another option.

  • paul on April 30, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    This talk about him being a opener is rubbish imo, I know he occasionally did it for Middlesex but in the last two and a bit years while he's been at Somerset he's not done it once and in that time he's averaged nearly 60, at Middlesex he averaged 34 during his time there. Obviously his game has improved but a opener he is not and would make absolutely no sense at all playing him in a position he isn't even playing for his county and hasn't played in years and wasn't very successful at even then.

  • paul on April 30, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    @Blake Houston Yes because Compton's a opener as well, oh wait he isn't , so he can't replace him. Why would we replace Strauss at the start of such a huge summer, ridiculous imo and some people just listen to the media too much and like to jump on the bandwagon. Strauss brings far more to the table than just his batting and once he smashes some runs against WI he'll be in for a big year again imo. Would prefer Compton any day of the week to Bopara, at least he's been getting consistent runs in the first division rather than Ravi's lack of runs in Div2. He leaves the ball very well and doesn't give his wicket away, very much similar player to Trott, he's also a good one day player, who should have got a shot last season for England in the one day team.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    It can be only a good thing for England that there is a batsman in the county game getting so many runs and screaming for national selection. There is much talk about about the likes of Strauss or Bell being dropped but IMO that simply wont happen, unless in the event of an injury, the top five will remain the same. The vacant number six slot has seemingly become a two horse race between Bopara and Compton. I think odds wise, Bopara is the favourite because of the fact he is an established member of the squad which has leadership which is fairly consistent in selection. However, if Compton continues with this run of form it will be tough call come Lords in May.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    Not the most exciting player to watch (plenty of time to knit a full bodysuit!) but grinds out his runs by valuing his wicket. Downside is that he sometimes puts pressure on his partner by not rotating strike or scoring quickly. Appears a popular & creative team mate - See 'Compos Clips'. Last years & current form says he deserves a chance.

  • Samuel on April 30, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    Kieran - I wouldn't say he's close to Hussey's quality, but he is a similar sort of player; the ability to adapt to any situation, be it the need to grind and build an innings or play some shots. He'd be more effective in the top 3 than down at number six though. It'd be interesting to see what happens if either Strauss or Cook goes down injured before the first Test against the West Indies; I'm not sure whether the selectors would go with him or Carberry.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    He should replace andrew strauss for sure

  • John on April 30, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Some players do take longer to mature and perhaps Compton is one of them. There is definitely a spot available for a middle-order batsman, especially in English conditions. BTW, can't wait to hear from the usual bunch that the grandson of one of the greatest England players of all time isn't really English.

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