Compton knows his Test future in balance on home turf

Nick Compton knows he will be playing for his Test future again at Chester-le-Street and insists his best chance of success is to stay true to himself.

England's Nick Compton.

England’s No 3 will be under the most scrutiny of all home batsmen, in likely tough conditions, when the second Investec Test gets under way against Sri Lanka tomorrow.

Compton is well aware of that, of course, after his third-ball duck in the innings victory at Headingley which put England 1-0 up with two to play.

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After 14 Tests, he has made 724 runs at just above 30 but also a strike rate of little more than 35 per hundred balls – a crawl compared with many of his free-scoring team-mates in an increasingly gung-ho era.

More unfortunately, perhaps, Compton has acquired too an association with the word ‘intense’ – one he does not disclaim but rather embraces as a compliment for a batsman of his traditional ilk.

The bottom-line response is that he simply needs to score more runs, in his own way to ensure further debate is irrelevant.

He does not shirk the issue when asked if his Test career may be on the line, as he seeks to re-establish his second run in the team after returning last December from a two-and-a-half-year hiatus.

“Definitely ... you’ve got to score runs,” said Compton.

“I got nought at Headingley; I did okay in South Africa.

“If you don’t play well enough, you get dropped. That’s fundamentally how it works.”

He acknowledges as well he will rarely attract the crowds drawn, for example, by Ben Stokes – the charismatic all-rounder who is missing his home Test after knee surgery.

“I think people are drawn towards a certain glamour – and some players provide that, and people want to see more,” he added. “That’s great – we’re in the entertainment business, it’s about getting bums on seats, and I suppose watching Ben Stokes’s 200 is better than watching Compton’s 80. If I was sitting on the couch I’d rather watch Stokes’s 200. I’m by no means unaware of that.”

Keaton Jennings’s resolute century helped Durham climb to second in the Specsavers County Championship Division One table as they completed a comeback win against Warwickshire.

Jennings went on to make 113 as the visitors won by four wickets with more than two sessions to spare.