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Pragmatic Compton insists on doing things his own way

By Rory Dollard

Published 21/01/2016

England's Nick Compton
England's Nick Compton

Nick Compton insists he does not need a licence to thrill to be a success in Trevor Bayliss' new England.

Head coach Bayliss is keen for his side to play aggressive, in-your-face cricket, empowering the likes of Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali to go hard at the opposition bowlers.

But in Middlesex batsman Compton he has also found room for an arch pragmatist.

Like captain Alastair Cook, Compton prides himself on patience and playing the percentages. In his Test comeback against South Africa in Durban, Compton helped set up victory with stoic innings of 85 and 49.

Bayliss nevertheless indicated after that match that he preferred two of his top three batsmen to be natural stroke-makers and, with Cook going nowhere, that drew a bead on Compton.

But he insists there is no pressure on him.

"There was no inference that's the way he wanted me to play," said Compton. "It was not so much about my style. I think the inference that he wanted two out of three (attacking batsmen)...he just wanted to make it clear that's in an ideal world.

"But I've been selected for the reason that I do what I do and he's been very clear about me doing that role as well as I can."

Compton scored two centuries in his first stint and could do with another in tomorrow's fourth Test against the Proteas at Centurion - England have an unassailable 2-0 lead.

He said: "When I came back my goals were clear. One: to contribute in every way possible. Two: to earn the respect of my team-mates. I feel like I've contributed, but I'd like to contribute more."

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