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Somerset's Nick Compton eyes chance to be England opener for India tour

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: September 19, 2012

Nick Compton was named in England's squad to tour India

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Nick Compton has set his sights on opening the batting for England after being included in the squad to tour India.

The 29-year-old has excelled at number three for Somerset this season, making well over a thousand runs at an average of 99, but is keen to replace former captain Andrew Strauss as new skipper Alastair Cook’s opening partner.

However, Yorkshire opener Joe Root is also included in the 16-man party while there are opportunities available in the middle order due to Kevin Pietersen’s continued absence and Ian Bell’s likely departure at some stage of the tour to attend the birth of his child.

Yet Compton said: “I am eyeing up that opening position, for sure.

“I’ve opened the batting my whole life, it’s only at Somerset where I’ve batted at three.

“I think they’re very similar (roles), pretty interchangeable – as a number three you can come in early.

“If the opportunity’s there that’s great, but there are some good players there – there are a lot of batters going on tour so everyone will be fighting hard.”

Compton has experience of Indian conditions from the England Lions squad and performance programme and is relishing his chance to return with the senior side.

The grandson of legendary England batsman Denis Compton, added: “For any aspiring international cricketer, going to India is a great opportunity.

“It was my grandfather’s favourite place to tour and I’m no different – I’ve been there five or six times and it’s an amazing place.

“Cricket’s a real religion there, what better place to play the game you love?

“The conditions will be testing but that makes it more enjoyable, to test yourself in that way.”

Root comes into the squad after a season in which he made 738 runs at an average of 43 to help Yorkshire win promotion from Division Two of the LV= County Championship.

Compton has played alongside the 21-year-old regularly for the England Lions side and is excited by his potential.

“I think he’s a really exciting young talent,” he said. “He’s got a very good technique and I know he’s very ambitious. He’s got a huge future, everybody says the same thing.”

“He’s a good lad as well, he is from Yorkshire but I’ll let him off this time! He’s a good man and I’m looking forward to playing with him again.”

The Lions side has been an excellent proving ground for England prospects in recent years and Compton hailed the set-up put in place.

“England have created this aura around the team, the Lions is almost a replica of what happens in the full team,” he said.

“It’s very much a stepping stone and I really enjoyed my time there but getting into the England team now, it’s a case of trying to step up, take my form from the first-class game and the same principles and apply it if I can.”

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