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Ramprakash backs Compton to soak up the pressure

The England set-up under Trevor Bayliss has shown a desire to give a player one too many matches to prove himself, rather than one too few. Regardless, though, of the longer-term approach to selection, Nick Compton will know that he faces a Test appearance on his home ground that will go a long way towards deciding his international future.

Compton, who made 85 and 49 in his comeback Test against South Africa at Durban in December, has yet to pass fifty in 15 subsequent first-class innings this year. Nine of those have come in Tests, including scores of 0 and 9 in the first innings of both the Headingley and Chester-le-Street Tests against Sri Lanka.

After England's victory in the second Test, in which Compton's second-innings 22 not out helped to knock off a small target, Bayliss named five batsmen in county cricket who are pushing hard for promotion to the Test side - Westley, Bell-Drummond, Stoneman, Borthwick and Robson. Compton's place is the one up for grabs for the start of the Pakistan series if the incumbent No. 3 does not produce a score of note against Sri Lanka this week.

However Mark Ramprakash, England's batting coach - another player whose intensity at the crease often prevented him from producing his best at Test level - believes Compton is a player capable of scoring "thousands" more international runs if he can approach the Test as just another game of cricket.

"In my mind, I look at him and see a top player who is very capable of getting thousands more international runs," Ramprakash said. "But he needs to go out there and allow himself to play the game of cricket ... not the occasion.

"I think the signs are good. We'll try to look at that in his preparation, and break things down, not get too detailed. When he's played well, he's latched on to the bad ball - but he's one of those guys who does play the ball on its merits.

"He must still latch on to the bad ball when it comes along. If he does that, he's going to be in good shape."

Before the second Test, Compton spoke honestly about his challenges and the battle against the perception that his style of batting does not fit into the way England are now playing. Ramprakash, who scored 114 first-class centuries but averaged an unfulfilled 27.32 in a 52-Test career, during a time when England's selection methods were not as forgiving as they are now, can understand the situation Compton finds himself in.

"I can certainly relate to Nick feeling on edge and know with the increased scrutiny about his position, I can relate. I do feel I can help provide support for that," he said. "He's not had the start to the season he'd have wanted. He got selected for South Africa, because he'd been a very consistent top-order player. His strengths are that he can bat long periods of time, soak up pressure, he's got a good technique.

"On the first day of that series, England were 12 for 2 and he played an exceptional knock. That's something he can lean on. He is capable of playing at this level, but this season has been a tough start for him.

"He does think about his game deeply, and that's fine. The best players do, because they need to adapt to different surfaces and different types of attacks.

"The main thing is as long as he's thinking the right way and allowing himself to play, that's what you hope he can do and certainly the players in the dressing room are trying to help him do that."