Compton finds form in opener duel with Root

UNCAPPED batsman Nick Compton insisted laughter proved the best medicine for his early-tour struggles after finally finding form with a half-century as England drew their warm-up match in India against Mumbai A.

Somerset’s Compton, vying with Joe Root of Yorkshire for the right to partner captain Alastair Cook at the top of the order, hit a painstaking 64 not out from 162 balls as England reached 149-2 in their second innings. It followed unflattering stints of 0 and 1 in his previous two appearances on the tour, with one match left to impress before the first Test, although he stressed his shaky start had not troubled him unduly.

“I knew I needed to just spend some time out there and that’s generally my process. The first two [innings] probably couldn’t have gone any worse and you can either over-analyse it or just go back and have a laugh,” said Compton.

“It wasn’t the way I intended it to go but today was just about getting back into stronger positions, especially on the front foot. I’ve worked really hard behind the scenes and I’m glad a little bit of that work has paid off. It’s just nice to tick over get the feet going and get a not out score there.”

“It’s natural in a squad that everyone is vying for a place, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have an eye on that opening spot.”

Root notched 24 to add to his first-innings 28, with Jonathan Trott contributing a characteristically steady 30 and Ian Bell weighing in with 28 not out.

Earlier, spinners Monty Panesar and Samit Patel pressed their Test claims by finishing with three wickets apiece as England tore through Mumbai A’s tail end. The hosts were 232-4 overnight but swiftly collapsed for the addition of just 54 more runs, with Patel, who has already impressed with the bat on this trip, claiming figures of 3-44.

Fast-bowler Stuart Broad fielded but did not bowl after scans revealed a bruised heel, a diagnosis that raises hopes he will recover for the first Test in Ahmedabad on 15 November.