Clarke shocked by Compton axe

AUSTRALIA captain Michael Clarke has admitted his surprise at the exclusion of opener Nick Compton from England’s Ashes line-up.

Compton impressed during the winter tour to New Zealand, scoring back-to-back centuries in the first two Test matches.

However, he notched just 48 runs in four innings against the same opponents in May and was unceremoniously dropped for the untested Joe Root.

Subsequently, Compton scored half centuries against Australia in warm-up matches for Somerset and Worcestershire and his absence at Trent Bridge delights Clarke.

“I think Nick showed he’s got a lot of class and a very good defence,” said Clarke. “I’m surprised he’s not in the first Test team for England.”