Compton backs ‘old-fashioned’ batting approach


Compton was out for a duck in England's crushing innings and 88-run win at Headingley last week as Alastair Cook's men went 1-0 up in the three-match series.

That followed a tour of South Africa where Compton, in his second spell as an England batsman, managed just 245 runs in four matches.

Often described as an “intense” cricketer, Compton's style of patient accumulation is at odds with the modern-day trend for aggressive batting in all formats.

The 32-year-old, who averages 30 in 14 Tests at a modest strike rate of 35 runs per 100 balls, accepts that England team-mates Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow may be easier on the eye, as indeed was his grandfather Denis Compton -- not just one of England's greatest batsmen but one of their most dashing.

But Nick Compton, born in South Africa but latterly educated in England, said it was important he remained true to his own style at No 3.

England assistant coach Paul Farbrace was adamant at Headingley that Compton had no need to radically alter his game.

Compton, speaking at the Riverside on Wednesday, said that was the message he had received from team management.

“I'm very clear on that,” said Compton at an event staged by series sponsor Investec.

“We've an exciting team of stroke players. It's my role to get myself in and try and shield some of those players from the new ball and if I get in, to make sure I get a big score.”

Compton, despite two hundreds against New Zealand, was dropped by England in 2013 after being reduced to near strokelessness when facing the Black Caps at Headingley in 2013.

“I probably didn't take my chances with two hands,” said Compton. “Maybe with one, one-and-a-half hands.

Compton made a useful 85 against South Africa in Durban, the city where he was born and brought up, to help England to a 241-run win in the first Test in December.

“It would have been nice personally to have kicked on and got some big scores and that's something that grated with me,” he said.

“But the thing that gives me the most enjoyment or happiness is contributing to an England victory.

“Take the Durban Test match, I know I contributed to that victory.”

The Middlesex batsman insisted he had received no guarantees about his international future.

“I don't think there's any assurances in top-level sport...It comes down to weight of runs.”

As for his style at the crease, Compton added: “The way the game's going I think people are drawn towards a certain glamour.

“Some players provide that and people want to see more of that.

“That's great, we're in the entertainment business.

“I suppose watching Ben Stokes's 200 (at Cape Town in January) is better than watching Compton's 80.

“If I sat on a couch and wanted to watch someone bat, I would rather watch Brian Lara, or my late grandfather, or Ben Stokes.

“But I feel like I have made the best of what I've been given.”

He added: “If you put me on a flat wicket against Jonny Bairstow (who made a brisk 140 against Sri Lanka at Headingley last week) he is going to score quicker than I am.

“But likewise I think there are areas where I will add something else, and it's not always going to be flat.

“I just have to do what I'm doing better.” – AFP

Original source: Compton backs ‘old-fashioned’ batting approach