Fringe players and pressure – the Nick Compton story

Photo by Sarah Ansell

Photo by Sarah Ansell

You often get the impression with Nick Compton that if it weren’t for media scrutiny, the doubters and his own desire to succeed, he’d be just fine. That would be some luxury though.

Test cricket doesn’t work that way. You don’t really earn a Test place. You earn the right to justify a Test place. And even then you always have to earn the right to keep it. When you’re on the fringes of the team, a borderline selection, the pressure is all the greater.

That’s the game though. That’s life. Nothing’s ever quite how you want it to be. It’s never a true pitch beneath sunny skies against a mediocre bowling attack with all your DIY jobs at home done and just the right beer in the fridge. More often than not you’re out of form, a bit pressed for time, have everyone on your back and need to find some way to get the job done anyway.

The stars never frigging align, so you just have to make the best of things. The car breaks down, the digibox stops recording properly, work commitments expand (or unexpectedly disappear). It’s always something.

Everyone gets derailed. Those who crowbar themselves back onto the tracks against the odds are the ones who make successful Test cricketers.

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4 Appeals

  1. Shove it up your arse, Hampshire. Middlesex are the best T20 team in the whole world. I can’t spake.

    Thank goodness we have a completed match under our belts. ‘Sex without a climax is almost as frustrating as no ‘sex at all.

  2. Think poor old Nick would have been better off playing for the Middle today. He’d have been warmer too.

  3. I fear poor old Compo ain’t long for this team.

  4. Chris Woakes showing Compo how to do the whole “fringe player in Tests” thing.

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