Full name Nicholas Richard Denis Compton
Born June 26, 1983, Durban, Natal, South Africa
Current age 32 years 314 days
Major teams England, England Lions, Mashonaland Eagles, Middlesex, Somerset
Nickname Compo, Ledge, Cheser
Playing role Opening batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Height 6 ft 2 in
Education Hilton College, SA, Harrow School, Durham University
|Test debut||India v England at Ahmedabad, Nov 15-19, 2012 scorecard|
|Last Test||South Africa v England at Centurion, Jan 22-26, 2016 scorecard|
|First-class debut||Cambridge UCCE v Middlesex at Cambridge, May 12-14, 2004 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Hampshire v Middlesex at Southampton, May 1-4, 2016 scorecard|
|List A debut||2001|
|Last List A||Middlesex v Glamorgan at Lord's, Aug 17, 2015 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Kent v Middlesex at Maidstone, Jul 2, 2004 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Middlesex v Sussex at Lord's, Jul 2, 2015 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|1, 14*||Middlesex||v Hampshire||Southampton||1 May 2016||FC|
|38||Middlesex||v Durham||Chester-le-Street||24 Apr 2016||FC|
|0, 44||Middlesex||v Warwickshire||Lord's||17 Apr 2016||FC|
|19, 6||England||v South Africa||Centurion||22 Jan 2016||Test # 2200|
|26, 0||England||v South Africa||Johannesburg||14 Jan 2016||Test # 2199|
|45, 15||England||v South Africa||Cape Town||2 Jan 2016||Test # 2197|
|85, 49||England||v South Africa||Durban||26 Dec 2015||Test # 2196|
|29||England XI||v Sth Africa A||Pietermaritzburg||20 Dec 2015||FC|
|58, 15||England XI||v SAf Invit XI||Potchefstroom||15 Dec 2015||Other|
|19, 4||Middlesex||v Worcs||Worcester||22 Sep 2015||FC|
Grandson of the legendary Denis, Nick Compton had quite an act to emulate. He might not share his relation's ability to entertain with the bat - few ever have - but he has made his own career as a strong-willed top-order batsman with a correct technique that has been highly regarded enough to win England Test caps. Selected to open the batting for England after a prolific domestic season in 2012, he didn't do too much wrong in nine Tests but England concluded Compton was not the man for the national side.
While his performances in the four Tests in India, where England prevailed 2-1, were not a complete success, Compton's steady starts in spinning conditions left a feeling that he had potential to succeed. Just one half-century meant more was needed to cement his place in the side but he was kept on for the New Zealand tour and in the opening match in Dunedin made a second-innings century, a knock of immense determination. Another hundred in Wellington seemingly penned Compton into England's first-choice Test XI. But after a nervous time in the return series against the Black Caps, with much attention being placed on a strokeless innings at Headingley, Compton was dropped for the Ashes in part, at least, to accommodate Joe Root in an ill-fated experiment at the top of the order.
Compton was raised in South Africa and honed an aptitude for sport, earning representative honours at tennis, football and hockey for Natal and holding down a single-figure golf handicap. He arrived in the UK as a teenager, attending Harrow School.
He played for England Under-19s in 2001-02 but took some time to break through into the Middlesex side. Three Championship matches in 2004 brought little return but when his chance finally came again at the start of 2006 he made the most of it. He kicked off with a maiden hundred in the first game against Oxford University - sharing a 192 opening stand with another famous grandson, Ben Hutton - and then hit a hundred against Kent in the first Championship match of the summer.
But he grew increasingly frustrated with what he perceived as a lack of opportunities and moved to Somerset ahead of the 2010 season. It was a productive decision and he became a consistent scorer in a strong top order but it was in 2012 that he really caught the attention, when he came within a whisker of scoring 1,000 runs before the end of May. He was denied by the weather at New Road but in a season ruined by rain he finished with 1,494 at 99.60. It was enough to earn him a call-up for England's tour to India, replacing the retired Andrew Strauss as opener despite batting at No. 3 for Somerset.
But most of 2013 and 2014 were also spent with Somerset. He carried on where he left off with 1,260 first-class runs at 45.00 and 1,034 at 43.08 respectively. Unfortunately for Compton, it seems the England selectors were no longer interested; a suspicion that was underlined when he was omitted from the Lions tour to South Africa that winter.
Compton, struggling for equilibrium in the aftermath of the rejection, was allowed to leave Somerset with two years remaining of his contract in November 2014 and announced he would take a break from cricket to reassess his options and his future. He chose to continue his career at Middlesex, and duly passed 1,000 runs, albeit with an average below 40, but although England were still struggling to find a regular partner for Alastair Cook at the top of the order their reluctance to give him another opportunity persisted.
NBC Denis Compton Award 2001, 2002, 2006
Plays of the day from the IPL match between Rising Pune Supergiants and Mumbai Indians, in Pune
He cannot match the big hitters for power, but his numbers are as good as theirs - if not better
For struggling Test teams to get better, they need to strengthen their domestic cricket and ensure their best players aren't lost to T20