Nick Compton presses Test claims during England warm-up

 

Nick Compton inched back ahead of Joe Root, with an ultra-patient maiden 50 for England, in the battle to become Alastair Cook's next Test match opening partner.

After their respective first-innings failures to convince at the Dr DY Patil Stadium, Compton and Root had another chance to resolve the issue as England batted again on the final day against Mumbai A.

Root survived Compton when they scored 28 and nought two days ago but this time, it was the other way around as Compton (65no) displayed plenty of the grit - and some of the skill - England will doubtless need in their forthcoming four-Test series against India.

The grandson of the great Denis demonstrated little of the flair he might have inherited, but that was hardly the order of the day as he ground his way to a three-hour half-century from 142 balls - with four fours for decoration.

England closed on 149 for two, augmenting a lead of 59 after bowling their hosts out for 286 in a match which duly ended in a predictable stalemate.

Those statistics were merely for the record in a contest all about preparations for next week's first Test in Ahmedabad, and top of England's list was a telling indication as to the identity of the man to replace the retired Andrew Strauss at the top of the order.

While Root again came unstuck in the 20s, Compton stayed the course - first in a stand of 67 with an almost equally stoic Jonathan Trott and then in the more fluent company of Ian Bell in another half-century partnership.

In 20 minutes of batting before lunch, and another 35 afterwards, Root outscored his opening partner.

But the introduction of first-change Shardul Thakur proved the young Yorkshireman's undoing undoing, falling to the final ball of the seamer's first over when he played no shot at an inswinger and was lbw.

The misjudgment was an occupational hazard for any opener, but not one which will fill Root or England with confidence that he is the man for the job at this stage.

With him gone, however, it was hard to tell initially whether Compton was batting himself into a Test debut or out of one as he crawled towards his first significant contribution in an England shirt.

His mitigation was the need to eliminate risk with stakes so high after his previous two innings on tour had accrued just a single.

Trott was in no rush either, and the run rate was barely traceable as Thakur and medium-pacer Shoaib Shaikh bowled respective spells of 7-3-12-1 and 5-2-9-0.

If the flourishes were few, on a slow but true pitch, Compton could be congratulated for giving no chances.

As an exercise in restraint and playing the occasion within limitations, in fact, he could scarcely be faulted.

The same was typically true of Trott until he went back to an off-break, as he had done when dismissed in last week's first match against India A, and this time was lbw to Suryakumar Yadav having made 30.

The home captain would have continued Bell's poor form had Thakur held on to a sharp chance at leg-gully off the very next ball.

Instead, England's inked-in Test number five avoided a golden duck to go with last week's scores of five and four - and profited sufficiently to head towards that first Test with confidence intact.

England had earlier wrapped up the home innings by taking the last six wickets in 90 minutes, for the addition of just 54 runs.

Graham Onions had Hiken Shah (92) caught behind, trying to leave a ball that ran over the face of the bat, to end his four-hour stay in the first full over of the morning.

Then Monty Panesar and Samit Patel did the rest with their left-arm spin varieties to finish with three wickets each in a match of mixed fortunes but with an acceptable overall outcome.

:: Stuart Broad was able to lead England in the field this morning, after a scan last night revealed just bruising in his sore left heel. But he was not fit enough to bowl.

PA

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
people
Sport
SPORT
News
people
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Biggins as Mrs Smee in Peter Pan
theatreHow do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick