Last chance saloon for Nick Compton and why the third Investec Test at Lord's is not a dead rubber

Chris Tremlett
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England Nets Session
Compton has failed to make a half-century since the opening Test against South Africa in Durban (Source: Getty)

If England’s No3 batsman Nick Compton doesn’t chalk up a sizeable score in the third and final Investec Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s, his home ground, then he’s really going to be up against it.

I was pleased that the selectors stuck with him after he was recalled for the tour of South Africa during the winter but if he doesn’t start scoring big runs they will have to go down a different route and I’d have to agree with that.

Compton hasn’t notched a half-century since the first Test in Durban and will be 33 by the time the series with Pakistan begins next month. If the runs don’t start to flow then there is a compelling argument to pick a younger, more dynamic player.

The Middlesex right-hander is an old-fashioned Test player and is not the quickest scorer. England have the potential to dominate Test cricket like Australia did in the late 1990s and early 2000s and play the same brand of aggressive cricket.

Perhaps Compton simply doesn’t fit that mould. He will, however, be playing amongst familiar surroundings when the first Lord’s Test of the summer gets underway on Thursday morning.

Lord’s wasn’t my favourite place to bowl but it was my favourite place to play given its history and tradition. It’s a unique place to be and right down to the quality of the food, you’re very well looked after there.

No disrespect to some of the other grounds around the country but they are simply not as well kept as Lord’s and there is always a special feeling for cricketers when they play there.

Much has been made this week of England’s tendency over the last year or so to stumble in the final Test of a series. It happened against Australia during the Ashes last summer and South Africa this winter when those series had been won.

When I was a member of the England side that topped the world rankings in 2011, there was a conscious effort to avoid any form of complacency, which can creep in.

Guys might not have the same adrenalin rush when a Test series has been won compared to if there is something still riding on a match, but England have to focus on the bigger picture and that’s getting to No1 in the world.

The main goal of that side under former head coach Andy Flower was to reach that No1 spot. Even when we won the Ashes Down Under that was put behind us straight away and we’d focus on the next series.

There was always statistics being thrown around as to what certain results would have to be for us to get to No1 by a certain time. I’m confident England can get to No1 in the world and that’s why there shouldn’t be any drop in performance, every game matters.

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