The Ashes: Discarded Nick Compton hits out at England selectors
Australians 396-4 dec Worcestershire 246-7
New Road, Worcester
Wednesday 03 July 2013
Nick Compton took out his frustrations on Australian bowlers for the second time in a week before criticising England's decision to drop him from their plans on the eve of the Ashes series.
After his 81 and 34 for his own Somerset team at Taunton, Compton added 79 on his guest appearance for Worcestershire. It might have been a few more, too, had he not pulled a long hop from Jackson Bird straight to Shane Watson at midwicket. There were quite a few angry swishes of the bat on the way back to the pavilion – followed by some angry words.
"I don't feel I have been given a fair crack of the whip [by England]," he said. "I feel like I did well in New Zealand with back-to-back hundreds, had an okay Test [against New Zealand] at Lord's but after a poor Test at Headingley, that's been it.
"The call I had from Geoff Miller was a real disappointment, a bit of a shock to be honest. I had a poor Test at Headingley, there is no doubt, but I don't feel that one poor Test constitutes a season or a career.
"Now I don't really know where things stand. I get dropped from the warm-up game but then I'm asked to play here. Is that messing people around? I don't know.
"I've been told to go away and score some runs, to prove [the selectors] wrong. But how many runs is scoring runs? I wanted to take it to the Aussies and I'm proud of the way I've responded and of the way I've played in the last couple of weeks."
James Whitaker, one of the England selectors, witnessed his dismissal and the 180 deliveries that preceded it in an innings that saw Compton go about his business in familiar fashion. He reached his half-century off 94 balls but while there were a couple of tasty cover drives and a lovely late cut off Ashton Agar, the left-arm spinner, among his seven boundaries, two or three others came less convincingly off the edge.
After that he went into his shell somewhat, needing 87 balls to add his last 29 runs, and it was an attempt to break out that proved his downfall.
Following Compton's performance for Worcestershire, the England coach, Andy Flower, said: "It was nice for him to get more exposure of playing an international side. It was a really good reaction from him to get runs consistently and it shows he's a good, tough fighter. He's obviously an opening batsman so if there was an injury to someone batting at six it doesn't mean he's the next cab off the rank."
Meanwhile, among the Australians on the fringes of the Ashes series, there were a couple of positive signs. The tourists batted on only for an hour before declaring at 396 for 4, but it was time enough for Steve Smith to create some pause for thought over the Australian middle order with an unbeaten 74, and for Bird, who found some reverse swing in unhelpful bowling conditions, to make his case with a burst of four wickets in 19 balls.
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