Somerset v Australians, Taunton, 1st day June 26, 2013

Compton given Ashes lifeline

42

Nick Compton's hopes of featuring in the Ashes have been thrown a lifeline by the England selectors after it was confirmed that he will play for Worcestershire against the touring Australians in a four-day match starting next Tuesday.

On his 30th birthday, 48 hours after he was omitted from the England team to play Essex in the pre-Ashes warm-up match, Compton's defiant 81 for Somerset against the Australians made plain his fervent desire not to be left out. The England selectors have proved they remain interested in fulfilling Compton's wish by facilitating his availability to face the tourists for a second time ahead of the first Investec Ashes Test, which begins on July 10.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the England management have requested Somerset release Compton from Friends Life t20 duty - a competition in which he was not necessarily going to feature anyway - and that Worcestershire have agreed to find room for him in their side.

While Geoff Miller, the national selector, had stated that England saw Joe Root as "currently the best opening partner" for Alastair Cook when announcing the England squad to play Essex, the move to involve Compton in next week's tour match is a sign that the door has not been closed on him entirely.

At Taunton, with Miller's words ringing in his ears, Compton began unsteadily against James Pattinson's outswing but reeled off a string of pleasant shots in an innings that fell 19 runs short of a timely century when Michael Clarke took an agile, juggled catch from the spin of Nathan Lyon. Compton was steely in approach but did not appear restricted by his intensity, as in recent times, scoring his runs at a brisk pace off front and back foot.

As telling as any of Compton's aggressive strokes was a moment of defensive composure to dig out a Mitchell Starc yorker that was screeching towards leg stump before his bat jammed down. Starc's subsequent success with the second new ball showed how sharp Compton had needed to be at that moment.

Lyon's dismissal of Compton was deserved, for it was the offspinner who had come closest to defeating him earlier when a beseeching lbw appeal was declined. Compton had offered no shot to an offbreak that spun back from outside the line of the stumps.

When dismissed Compton swished his bat in frustration, as much at Clarke's successful juggle as missing a century. But even as he trudged off the ground, perhaps fearing that the England career he had won for himself little more than six months ago was slipping inexorably away, moves were afoot to give him another chance against Australia's bowlers.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jb633 on June 26, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    I feel sorry for Compton given these circumstances. In terms of test cricket he has proved his abilities far more than Bairstow and I think his role in the win over India cannot be underestimated. I like to judge players on what they have done in games in which the pressure is tantamount. In all fairness to Bairstow he has made one score against SA last year but Compton has delivered more consistently and in more trying circumstances i.e India. I think to drop him at this stage is an error on behalf of the selectors.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 26, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    Just because Joe up-Rooted Compton and 'Nicked' his opening slot for first game, doesn't mean Compton is completely out of Ashes contention. I expect to see Nick back in England whites sooner than most people care to think/hope. These 81 runs are only a taste of things to come. Joe should stay 'Rooted' in the middle/lower order, where he is solid and vibrant in tests.

  • on June 28, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    @Bobby - Hildreth, a little like David Sales before him, has played brilliantly when no one has been looking. Personally I think he's a far better player than Compton, who, much as I like him, just had a golden season last year. Hildreth never quite managed to get that buzz about him that the selectors notice. A shame, because he's a fine player, but personally I'd pick James Taylor above any of the players being talked about at the moment. Shamefully England's forgotten man. However, in five years time England's line up could look something like Cook, Root, Taylor, Hales, Bairstow, Rashid, Buttler, Woakes, J.Overton, Finn, Dockrell.

  • JG2704 on June 27, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (June 27, 2013, 8:27 GMT) I'm not sure re Nick. I think he's as deserving as one of the established players but he looked horrible in the last series. Personally I'd rather he played for Somerset but that's just selfish. Since that series his form has neither been good enough to demand his inclusion or to bad enough to say being dropped is the right move

  • on June 27, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    I don't think this innings from Watson has answered any questions. His problem has always been that he can only score in 4's and 6's. that's why his ODI record is so much better than his test record and why he has so such a poor conversion rate of 50's into 100's even when opening in tests. Scoring 80 in 4's out of 90 shows that he will have the same issues.

  • on June 27, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    Why hasn't James Hildreth name not mentioned and even considered by the ECB Selectors? He is only 28 years old and has scored 28 centuries in FC Cricket with an Ave of 42????

  • Dazako on June 27, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    Well done Watto on hitting 90, hope some of Boofs confidence in you pays off This is your last chance so make the most of it.

  • on June 27, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    Essex could do with Compton, Jones and Hildreth against ENGLAND XI .. and a couple of spinners .. Oh for Hobbs, East and Acfield .. and Boyce, Lever and Turner .. (I'm getting old and grumpy ..)

  • H_Z_O on June 27, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    @chicko1983 much as I rate Pattinson (and I'm an England fan), it's worth pointing out that the average of 15 is skewed a little by the 7-36 he got against the Scots. 2-104 against the Irish suggests calling him "The best quick bowler in the world" might be a tad premature. Still, he's definitely a quality bowler; any seamer who ends their first tour of India with 9 wickets at 27 (and having watched that series, I thought he bowled better than those figures suggest) shouldn't be underestimated.

  • HansonKoch on June 27, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    While I'm on the subject of heading back to the Shield, might also be a good time to let Usman go as well. What's he done lately?

  • jb633 on June 26, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    I feel sorry for Compton given these circumstances. In terms of test cricket he has proved his abilities far more than Bairstow and I think his role in the win over India cannot be underestimated. I like to judge players on what they have done in games in which the pressure is tantamount. In all fairness to Bairstow he has made one score against SA last year but Compton has delivered more consistently and in more trying circumstances i.e India. I think to drop him at this stage is an error on behalf of the selectors.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 26, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    Just because Joe up-Rooted Compton and 'Nicked' his opening slot for first game, doesn't mean Compton is completely out of Ashes contention. I expect to see Nick back in England whites sooner than most people care to think/hope. These 81 runs are only a taste of things to come. Joe should stay 'Rooted' in the middle/lower order, where he is solid and vibrant in tests.

  • on June 28, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    @Bobby - Hildreth, a little like David Sales before him, has played brilliantly when no one has been looking. Personally I think he's a far better player than Compton, who, much as I like him, just had a golden season last year. Hildreth never quite managed to get that buzz about him that the selectors notice. A shame, because he's a fine player, but personally I'd pick James Taylor above any of the players being talked about at the moment. Shamefully England's forgotten man. However, in five years time England's line up could look something like Cook, Root, Taylor, Hales, Bairstow, Rashid, Buttler, Woakes, J.Overton, Finn, Dockrell.

  • JG2704 on June 27, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (June 27, 2013, 8:27 GMT) I'm not sure re Nick. I think he's as deserving as one of the established players but he looked horrible in the last series. Personally I'd rather he played for Somerset but that's just selfish. Since that series his form has neither been good enough to demand his inclusion or to bad enough to say being dropped is the right move

  • on June 27, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    I don't think this innings from Watson has answered any questions. His problem has always been that he can only score in 4's and 6's. that's why his ODI record is so much better than his test record and why he has so such a poor conversion rate of 50's into 100's even when opening in tests. Scoring 80 in 4's out of 90 shows that he will have the same issues.

  • on June 27, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    Why hasn't James Hildreth name not mentioned and even considered by the ECB Selectors? He is only 28 years old and has scored 28 centuries in FC Cricket with an Ave of 42????

  • Dazako on June 27, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    Well done Watto on hitting 90, hope some of Boofs confidence in you pays off This is your last chance so make the most of it.

  • on June 27, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    Essex could do with Compton, Jones and Hildreth against ENGLAND XI .. and a couple of spinners .. Oh for Hobbs, East and Acfield .. and Boyce, Lever and Turner .. (I'm getting old and grumpy ..)

  • H_Z_O on June 27, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    @chicko1983 much as I rate Pattinson (and I'm an England fan), it's worth pointing out that the average of 15 is skewed a little by the 7-36 he got against the Scots. 2-104 against the Irish suggests calling him "The best quick bowler in the world" might be a tad premature. Still, he's definitely a quality bowler; any seamer who ends their first tour of India with 9 wickets at 27 (and having watched that series, I thought he bowled better than those figures suggest) shouldn't be underestimated.

  • HansonKoch on June 27, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    While I'm on the subject of heading back to the Shield, might also be a good time to let Usman go as well. What's he done lately?

  • HansonKoch on June 27, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    Nothing against Ed Cowan personally - he seems like a good bloke who's articulate enough to face a camera, and that's a rarity in this squad - but I think it's time to let him go back to the Shield. If his stint in County has proved one thing it's that he's never going to bag the big scores, even against a weaker attack.

  • bobmartin on June 27, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    All this talk about plodders opening the innings in tests.. seems to ignore the fact that in 50over cricket the top three are Cook Bell and Trott.. none of whom exactly set off at supersonic speed... So if that sort of scoring rate is good enough for limited overs, it's surely ok for tests.. My guess is that since one batsman of those who played against NZ has to make way for Pietersen... the selectors have decided that it's most likely to be Compton.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 27, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    @MarkTaffin, I stand corrected, I thought it was a regular county game, as its not usual to see a player switch counties for a single match, though the ECB do seem to be able to 'persuade' counties to do this a little more in recent times.

    Still its usefull for compton to get a heads up and first hand experience of bowlers that most of Englands batsmen wont have faced before.

  • MarkTaffin on June 27, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding - think you'll find Compton is playing for Worcestershire next week, not against. He's playing in their match against the Aussie tourists, so 2 more innings plus his one here? (Weather permitting on all, of course).

    Hope Essex do play their first choice attack, but I'm still not desperately impressed. This fixture should have been against a Div 1 county, or, ideally, England A v England B, or some such title.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 27, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    @MarkTaffin, compton only has 1 more innings against the Aussies before the first test, the other two (weather permitting) are against Worcester.

    As for England playing Essex's 2nd XI, I wonder at that, likely they will have Dave Masters (whose got a benefit year, btw!!!), as the lead seamer, and has a very good record in CC over the last 2 years. Its a shame he never got an England call up.

  • MarkTaffin on June 27, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    Now that Compton has three more innings against the first choice Aussie attack, it seems logical that if he gets more runs across those than YJB against Essex 2nd Division 2nd XI, it would seem logical he plays at TB? Look forward to seeing Miller spin his way out of that one????

  • on June 27, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    Don't see the point of this. If he scores runs again are England obliged to give him a place at the expense of someone else? I think not. And he's depriving some young Worcs opening batsman of playing against the Aussies.

  • Reverend-Cavalier on June 27, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    My wish is australian bowlers give it to the Poms and see if their techniques and mindsets are sound. Bowl at their heads and follow it with the mouth ! Aussies 3-0

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 27, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @JG2704: Whilst I do agree with you that Compton has been treated very strangely (no verbal backing from management/team-mates (except Tresco. for Somerset); no huge 'talking-up' like the Roots and KPs of the world etc.) - I can't help but feel there is something more to these... hush hush kinda strategies. My biggest 'fear' against Aus. is the first few overs of bowling spells from their infamous pace-battery. Whereas I have strong confidence in the likes of Cook/Compton/Trott seeing out these defining overs, I am not so sure about the likes of KP and Root - who are much more prosperous once the shine is off the ball and the Aus. quicks are out of puff. Siddle is a workhorse who will keep nagging forever; but no attacking spinners (unless this new guy who got his passport sorted is a secret weapon). Why O'Keefe and McKay are ignored baffles me! England will NEVER try 5-1-5, so my team would be like Whatsgoinoffoutthere's (post on June 27, 2013, 6:09 GMT). ? over Broad/Bresnan/Finn/CT

  • JG2704 on June 27, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    @Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (June 27, 2013, 6:09 GMT) Half agree with your post but last season (Nick's form year) he scored runs all over the place - if you want to check the records..

  • YorkshirePudding on June 27, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    @Mitty2, or as an alternate theory, what if it was said to test his temprament, see how he reacted to being told he was 'dropped', looking at it it may have had the desired effect, for Compton to show how good he is rather than go into his shell.

    Its also fair to say that the squad for the first test has not been announced we have a bunch of journo's making up stories about the team playing Essex will be the choice for the first test at Trent Bridge.

  • emmersonne on June 27, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    A lot has been made of Compton's "dropping", but is it the case? I would consider playing against the Australians a better audition for the opening spot than Essex, and now he has a second shot. Both should start the Ashes, in my opinion. I would back Root to do what no one else (Bopara, Patel, Taylor et al.) has managed since Colly's retirement and fill the number six slot. He's scoring runs at 5 and 6, don't move him now.

  • Whatsgoinoffoutthere on June 27, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    @Mitty2: Er, what discrepancy in county records? And what discrepancy in centuries - when compared to the number of innings played? The former doesn't exist and the latter is such thin evidence that it beggars belief.

    How about Compton plays his home games at the postage-stamp sized Taunton & Root plays his at Headingley? And still Compton scores so slowly...

    Also, to play a warm-up game, they could leave Compton playing for Somerset (against Australians) & not waste a place in the England-Essex game, which is less taxing anyway. Coupled to adding him to the Worcestershire squad, he's getting the best warm up out of all of them.

    Anyway, I'd leave out Bairstow and have both. While Bairstow is evidently talented and a name for the near future, I don't think he's quite ready yet and I'd prefer to see him keeping wicket for Yorkshire at this point. Makes my England team Cook/Compton/Trott/Pietersen/Root/Bell/Prior/Broad/Swann/Finn/Anderson. Bresnan 12th man (Finn is the better bowler).

  • SeanB on June 27, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Both England and Australia are picking so many openers. Joe has shown that he can bat in the middle order and that makes England's line up impressive. Australia must work hard to avoid a whitewash.

  • on June 27, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    He showed again why he should be in the test side, hes a very solid batsman

  • Mitty2 on June 27, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    Absolutely disgraceful that Geoff Millar would say such a thing. Way to rule out a player comprehensively and strip him of confidence. I can imagine inverarity doing the same thing - which says a lot.

    In any regards, I still think that Compton is a far superior bat (in tests) to root and this is an incredibly stupid decision to put Compton on the back burner. Just compare the discrepancy in county records. Oh and Compton also has more centuries...

    But why am I angry? I'd prefer root opening and Compton not playing as an Aussie!

  • Showbags88 on June 27, 2013, 1:53 GMT

    As an Australian I would personally rather see Joe Root open which brings in Jonny Bairstow to the team as I think that weakens the team more.

    I'm not totally convinced that Bairstow is Test class (as yet anyway) and though Root looks a fine young player I can see Harris and Pattinson getting stuck into him with the new ball and maybe finding him out with some pace and aggression (which he hasn't really had to face yet in his young career).

  • kensohatter on June 27, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    Even Englands 'out of form' batsmen are scoring runs against us! Us Aussies are in for a long few months... If somebody offered me 2wins and 2 draws from the 10 test matches id snap that up. I just cant see where Australias runs are going to come from... Clarke cant score triple centuries every game especially if no one can stick with him. Think I might skip watching this ashes and watch videos of the glory warne/ mcgrath days!

  • H_Z_O on June 27, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    @SirViv1973 I agree, although my issue isn't really with JB's ability to score more runs than NC (his 95 and 73 against the rampaging Saffers at Lords last year and the partnership with Joe against the Kiwis suggests he's got it in him). I think Joe would bring more stability to the middle order, though, especially with Bell's form and KP fresh back from injury (one great knock for Surrey doesn't mean he's going to be right back at 100% for Tests). If Nick plays with the same composure in the Warwickshire game then a top 7 of Compton, Cook, Trott, KP, Bell, Root, Prior just looks more solid and reliable. Ashes cricket is about so much more than talent, it's as much about your mindset as anything and I'm not sure JB's quite there yet. Joe is and his calm demeanour at 6 could be a real asset to prevent batting collapses.

  • JG2704 on June 26, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    @SirViv1973 on (June 26, 2013, 21:14 GMT) I'm not sure they gave that much thought into Nick's SR etc when they picked him and basically thought how could they ignore a guy who has just averaged near 100 in the 2012 season. Nick was not an opener , he was a number 3 for most of 2012 and when Strauss retired there was no other obvious replacement unless it meant shuffling the team around. As you know , I'd like to see Prior at 6 and an all rounder at 7. Woakes was my choice but his form (or stats) seemed to have dipped. Maybe it will leave a hole at number 6 - time will tell.

    Maybe I'm misinterpretting Eng as I'm getting mixed signals. I mean at no point was Nick given verbal backing when his place was under scrutiny but at the same time it seems they want him to play for Worcs now in a one off game vs Aus.

  • CricketingStargazer on June 26, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    @cloudiness When I left work it was 310-4 and Kieswetter had just got out to the new ball. I wish that I had not missed the fall of 6 wickets on 310. Suddenly the attack became galvanised and some very ordinary - not to mention downright poor bowling - wild and erratic and backed-up by poor fielding, became electric. Interesting!

    Under-rate Australia at your peril but, when a young rookie who had averaged just 17.4 in his first 21 First Class matches scores a comfortable century without ever looking in dfficulty in partnership with an "England reject", you had to wonder about the quality or level of motivation of the attack. I even wondered if they were deliberately going easy on Nick Compton to play him back into the England side (a practice not unknown in the past).

    Looking at the Somerset attack, it is pretty friendly. An opportunity for a few batsmen to get some form and confidence tomorrow?

  • chicko1983 on June 26, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    The best quick bowler in the world, The Jimmy Pattinson, firing once again. Averaging about 15 in first class cricket in the uk in the last five innings there. This will be fun seeing him and starc run through the English. It took a session to settle down but when starc is confident he is dangerous.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 26, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    Compton won't be opening in the Ashes so this is a non-story. Root is the universally acclaimed most naturally talented batsman in an age, with the technique to match.

  • SirViv1973 on June 26, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    @R_U_4_Real_Nick, I agree totally with your comments.

  • SirViv1973 on June 26, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    @JG2704, I have to disagree with you, If the selectors didn't fancy having 3 slowish tempo batsman at the top of the order why did Compton get the nod over Root at the start of the Ind series? After all Root would have been seen as the more specialist opener of the 2 at the start of that tour given he had been opening all of last season for Yorkshire & Compton was not batting at the top of the order for Somerset. If Compton does loose his place I do think we could potentially leave a hole in our middle order for the Aus to exploit. I am in no way convinced Bairstow will score more runs than NC & taking Root out of the middle order where he is flourishing is a gamble, the Bell factor also needs to be taken into consideration. IB has been far from his fluent best for sometime now & having him at 5 & JB & 6 is giving me cause for concern. Personally I would stick with NC play Root at 5 & Bell at 6.

  • cloudmess on June 26, 2013, 21:01 GMT

    I've just seen the scorecard; that was some collapse, a lot of bowled and lbws. Are Pattinson and Starc the new Wasim and Waqar?

  • cloudmess on June 26, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    Pleased for Nick Compton - he showed guts with that 81. I still think England's best XI for the 1st test includes Root and Bairstow; but Compton should be next cab off the rank if anyone gets injured. I was worried he'd been dropped for good, which would have been a great injustice.

  • Robster1 on June 26, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    Not convinced that Compton is international class. Runs aplenty on Taunton's notoriously flat wicket....

  • JG2704 on June 26, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (June 26, 2013, 20:08 GMT) Personally I think it is the end for Nick for Eng unless we have an injury to Trott,Root or Cook. I think it's about balance for Eng and they feel they don't need another slow tempo batsman in the top 5.Even with KP in the side we'd have had 4 plodders in the top 5 had Nick remained. I think the writing was on the wall in NZ when even after the 2 tons he had no Eng backing.

    PS Just heard that Nick has bizzarrely been offered a chance to play for Worcs vs Aus so you start to wonder

  • Billy_Hubble on June 26, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    Once again the ECB ride roughshod over county members. If I'd shelled out money for a Worcestershire membership I'd be wanting to see Worcestershire players taking on the Australians - not an amalgam of WCCC and whoever Geoff Miller wants to have yet another "look at"

  • CricketingStargazer on June 26, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    @NICK His form for Somerset has been very good this season: it has only been poor when compared to last year's extraordinary results. He's averaging well over 50 for them and, listening today, the commentators were purring at his play, which made the bowling look distinctly ordinary for most of the day.

    Maybe the selectors are engaging in some mind games. Shades of Andrew Strauss turning out for Somerset in 2011. Certainly, after today's innings he will not be too terrified of facing the Australian attack.

  • on June 26, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    Nice sentiment from the England hierarchy but have Worcestershire not got a decent young batting prospect who would benefit from playing against the touring Australians rather than giving Compton another go ?

  • on June 26, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    Nice sentiment from the England hierarchy but have Worcestershire not got a decent young batting prospect who would benefit from playing against the touring Australians rather than giving Compton another go ?

  • CricketingStargazer on June 26, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    @NICK His form for Somerset has been very good this season: it has only been poor when compared to last year's extraordinary results. He's averaging well over 50 for them and, listening today, the commentators were purring at his play, which made the bowling look distinctly ordinary for most of the day.

    Maybe the selectors are engaging in some mind games. Shades of Andrew Strauss turning out for Somerset in 2011. Certainly, after today's innings he will not be too terrified of facing the Australian attack.

  • Billy_Hubble on June 26, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    Once again the ECB ride roughshod over county members. If I'd shelled out money for a Worcestershire membership I'd be wanting to see Worcestershire players taking on the Australians - not an amalgam of WCCC and whoever Geoff Miller wants to have yet another "look at"

  • JG2704 on June 26, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (June 26, 2013, 20:08 GMT) Personally I think it is the end for Nick for Eng unless we have an injury to Trott,Root or Cook. I think it's about balance for Eng and they feel they don't need another slow tempo batsman in the top 5.Even with KP in the side we'd have had 4 plodders in the top 5 had Nick remained. I think the writing was on the wall in NZ when even after the 2 tons he had no Eng backing.

    PS Just heard that Nick has bizzarrely been offered a chance to play for Worcs vs Aus so you start to wonder

  • Robster1 on June 26, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    Not convinced that Compton is international class. Runs aplenty on Taunton's notoriously flat wicket....

  • cloudmess on June 26, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    Pleased for Nick Compton - he showed guts with that 81. I still think England's best XI for the 1st test includes Root and Bairstow; but Compton should be next cab off the rank if anyone gets injured. I was worried he'd been dropped for good, which would have been a great injustice.

  • cloudmess on June 26, 2013, 21:01 GMT

    I've just seen the scorecard; that was some collapse, a lot of bowled and lbws. Are Pattinson and Starc the new Wasim and Waqar?

  • SirViv1973 on June 26, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    @JG2704, I have to disagree with you, If the selectors didn't fancy having 3 slowish tempo batsman at the top of the order why did Compton get the nod over Root at the start of the Ind series? After all Root would have been seen as the more specialist opener of the 2 at the start of that tour given he had been opening all of last season for Yorkshire & Compton was not batting at the top of the order for Somerset. If Compton does loose his place I do think we could potentially leave a hole in our middle order for the Aus to exploit. I am in no way convinced Bairstow will score more runs than NC & taking Root out of the middle order where he is flourishing is a gamble, the Bell factor also needs to be taken into consideration. IB has been far from his fluent best for sometime now & having him at 5 & JB & 6 is giving me cause for concern. Personally I would stick with NC play Root at 5 & Bell at 6.

  • SirViv1973 on June 26, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    @R_U_4_Real_Nick, I agree totally with your comments.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 26, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    Compton won't be opening in the Ashes so this is a non-story. Root is the universally acclaimed most naturally talented batsman in an age, with the technique to match.