Nick Compton will make his Test debut high on confidence next week after his third successive half-century for England. As the tourists again found runs easy to come by but wickets significantly harder on the Sardar Patel Ground’s ultra-flat surface, their new Test opener-in-waiting added a second-innings 54 not out to his 74 two days ago.
England’s struggle to bowl out Haryana lasted until tea time on day three of four in this final warm-up match, thanks largely to Rahul Dewan, who carried his bat for a near eight-hour 143. But when they did complete the job, Haryana reaching 334, they still had a lead of 187 and therefore the notional option of enforcing the follow-on.
After spending almost 115 overs in the field under a hot sun and cloudless skies, it was no surprise they chose to bat again instead and not much more of one that captain Alastair Cook, after his first-innings 97, decided Jonathan Trott (61no) could partner Compton in his place at the top of the order. The South Africa-born pair did not look in the least trouble either, on the way to twin 98-ball 50s in a stumps total of 118 for none, to deal with a seam attack which had posed so few problems first time round on this bowlers' graveyard.
Compton’s big stride in forward defence, and off-drive, is already a familiar sight after two weeks on tour and his initial nought and one against India A and Mumbai A are becoming happily distant memories. He helped to put England in position to bat on for perhaps half a session on Sunday before Cook judges the time is right to again set about the tougher task of taking opposition wickets.
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