Compton no longer seeks perfection
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