Home > Features >

Nick Compton serves notices of his potential and pedigree

Nick Compton serves notices of his potential and pedigree

At Dunedin, Nick Compton showed the rare virtues of concentration and patience © Getty Images

By Bharath Ramaraj

When World War II ended in 1945, Britain was eventually victorious, but the long and bloody war which lasted six years had left had virtually made that nation bankrupt. As the country was reeling from troubled economic times, Denis Compton emerged as a national icon by capturing the imagination of the public with his flamboyant, dazzling and cavalier strokeplay. Old-timers still romanticise the bygone era and reminisce about Compton’s thrill-a-minute triple hundred for MCC against North-Eastern Transvaal in 1948-49. He was also an accomplished footballer, whose talents were good enough to represent Arsenal.

More than six decades later, Denis Compton’s grandson, Nick Compton, made his Test debut at Ahmedabad. He made modest scores of nine and 37, but his three-hour stay at the crease in the second innings of that Test showed that he had it in him the art of building an innings. Though it was a constant battle for Nick to come to grips with alien conditions in India, his hunger for runs and a sound temperament gave an unmistakable impression of a cricketer, who has in him to succeed at the highest level.

The critics, however, weren’t impressed. He was criticised for not converting his starts into big scores. In the first Test against New Zealand at Dunedin in the ongoing series, Compton got out for a duck. But in the second innings, he gave a fitting reply to his detractors with a back-to-the-wall century. He was an able foil to captain Alastair Cook, as both laid a solid platform with a 231-run opening stand to take England out of troubled waters.

In many ways, Compton’s resolute century at Dunedin, encapsulates the essence of his batting. His game is built on the old maxim of knowing your off-stump, and leaving the ball well. He can wait all day long for the bowlers to get tired, and drift on his pads. At Dunedin, Compton showed the rare virtues of concentration and patience. The Kiwis even baited him by throwing the occasional carrot and bowling wide of off-stump, but Compton didn’t fall for the bait.

Compton may not fill stadiums with lissome flicks, silken smooth drives and playing lofted shots with twinkling footwork, but he has that insatiable appetite for big scores. The industrious Compton is in every sense a utilitarian.

It wasn’t always this easy for the quiet achiever from Somerset. When Compton decided to leave Middlesex in October 2009 and play for Somerset, it seemed like his ambition of playing for England will remain unfulfilled. In fact, the year before he left Middlesex, his career had touched its nadir, as he averaged just 8.50, over five First-Class games. The 2009 season wasn’t great for him either, as he amassed 860 runs at a disappointing average of 33.07. As he came from a rich cricketing heritage, the weight of expectations didn’t help his cause either. The timely decision to move to Somerset paid him rich dividends. On good batting tracks at Taunton, he was a thorn in the opposition’s flesh and made tons of runs.

In 2011, Compton aggregated 1010 runs at an impressive average of 56.11 for Somerset. In particular, 2012 was an annus mirabilis for Compton. He made 1191 runs at a Bradmanesque average of 99.25.

Compton admitted that former Somerset wicket-keeper, Neil Burns played a pivotal role in helping him to develop a sound defence. All those runs for Somerset caught the eyes of the selectors, and he was subsequently drafted into the English set-up for the tour of India. Interestingly, Compton doesn’t open the batting for his County, Somerset.

With an insatiable appetite for runs and the concentration prowess of a Zen master, Compton certainly can make it big in Test match cricket.

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 4: KL Rahul brings up sixth FC century with six; South Zone 148/1

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi: Australia bowled out for 261

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: KL Rahul century guides South Zone to 184/1 at stumps

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Run feast expected in first ODI in Cuttack

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: KL Rahul completes century

Australia reeling at 239/8 at tea on Day 3 of 2nd Test against Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Rameez Raja says he never expected Pakistan batsmen to dominate Australian bowlers

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here