Compton craving strong finish

Nick Compton is hoping both himself and England can finish their Test series against South Africa with a flourish.

The number-three batsman has contributed 220 runs at an average of 36.66 in three Tests on his return to the England side following more than two-and-a-half years away from international cricket. 

Despite the tourists having already won the series heading into the match at Centurion, following convincing victories in Durban and Johannesburg, Compton believes there is a lot more to play for.

“We’ve won 2-0 and that’s fantastic and we’ve had a couple of days to dust down and enjoy it,” Compton said. “There’s no doubt you have to breathe those moments in.

“But, for me and a lot of the other guys, there’s a lot to play for. It’s a Test match for England.

“You’re playing in South Africa, it’s another great experience being at a ground many of us haven’t played at before and there’s a lot of personal pride.

England batsman has hit Nick Compton 220 runs at an average of 36.66 in three Tests against South Africa

“And obviously from a team point of view, make no bones about it, this team wants to keep moving forwards.

“So we’ve won, and that’s great, but there’s a long way to go in terms of the team’s journey. I think that’s been quite clear in terms of the messages we’ve tried to convey and the way we’re thinking as a team.

“I think when I came back to the side my goals were pretty clear. One: I wanted to contribute to the team in every way possible. Two: I wanted to earn the respect of my team-mates.

“I feel like I have contributed, but we’d always like to contribute more.

“As a top-order batter you’ve never got enough runs and there’s always continual improvement, so that’s something I’m looking to put right in this Test match.”

At 32 years of age, Compton is the second oldest player in Trevor Bayliss’ squad after James Anderson.

While also batting at three, an important position, the experienced Compton believes he has extra responsibility in a young side.

“I’ve always enjoyed responsibility in all the teams I’ve played in,” he said. “Batting at three or opening is an important place to play because you really set the tone and set up the innings.

“I think from a positional point of view it has responsibility.

“I haven’t played as much as some of the guys but I like to engender those sort of feelings, be someone the guys can bat around and depend on. Someone who is consistent in his approach.

“It’s not something you can force, respect from you team-mates comes over time and through performance.

“It is one of my goals to earn that respect. Whether you’re 15 or 45 that’s something you have to go through.”

England will be forced to make one change from the side that played in the series-clinching Test at the Wanderers last week.

Paceman Steven Finn suffered a side strain and has been ruled out of the rest of the tour, meaning there will be an opportunity for Mark Footitt, Chris Woakes or Chris Jordan at Centurion.

“It’s something the selectors, the coach and the captain have to think about,” Compton said. “What a position to be in, with three guys who offer different things.

“Woakesy’s performance speaks for itself having done nothing wrong in the first Test, he was very unlucky to miss out.

“Likewise we have a left-armer, and it’s great to have a quick left-armer in your repetoire. And CJ has come back and gone from strength to strength since he came back. Who’d be a selector?”

Source: ECB

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