Marcus Trescothick believes that England's decision to drop Nick Compton ahead of the Ashes is "harsh".
Compton has made an acceptable start to his Test career but is not playing in the Ashes warm-up against Essex. Joe Root is likely to open for England with Alastair Cook against Australia instead.
Trescothick, Compton's captain at Somerset, said last night he thought it was unfair not to give the 29-year-old more time.
"I'm not in the environment to say how they handled it," Trescothick said. "From the outside and speaking a bit with Nick I think they've been a bit harsh with changing now. I thought they would see how the series started and maybe if they wanted to change it, if he didn't get any runs, they might have changed it."
Compton, who scored two centuries on the winter tour of New Zealand, has a Test batting average of 31.93, and Trescothick said that he had done enough to expect to continue in the side. "I would have stuck with him personally, only a couple of games ago he got back-to-back hundreds. Anybody in that environment would expect to carry on."
Against New Zealand last month, though, Compton scored 39 runs in four innings, finishing with a nervous 85-minute innings of eight at Headingley which seems to have cost him his place.
"He hasn't done a great deal wrong bar missing out in those two Tests against New Zealand over here," said Trescothick. "Any good player can do that – come back, have two bad games then get a 150. That's why I believe it's tough."
Despite the disappointment, Trescothick backed Compton to return to the Test team.
"It's never easy when anyone gets dropped. It will hit him pretty hard, as you'd expect. But I'd expect him to bounce back and I think there is a massive opportunity for him still. He can score a boat-load of runs in the rest of the county season for the winter ahead.
"I have no doubt he will be looking to continue doing what he's done for us. He can still put himself back into that shop window. It's not over for him yet."
Trescothick, though, said he was confident in 22-year-old Root's ability to open against Australia. "He's a great kid with a great attitude. I would expect him to come out and enjoy it and flourish," he added. "He will do well in any position."
Trescothick will now likely play alongside Compton for Somerset in the first-class match against Australia, starting today, before Somerset begin their Twenty20 campaign against Gloucestershire on Friday week. At the age of 37, Trescothick is understandably keen to captain Somerset to a trophy, having come so close so often recently.
"I enjoy every format at 37, and I go into every competition with excitement, rolling back the years," he said. "We always fancy our chances. We've been consistent – there or thereabouts – we just haven't been good enough when it's come to the crunch. That's the challenge, we appreciate that. I'm fed up with doing interviews at the end and telling you how we lost it."
Marcus Trescothick was speaking at the launch of the 2013 Friends Life t20 competition. For information and tickets visit: ecb.co.uk/FLt20Reuse content