Not unless he’s down the order.
Some have suggested resting Alastair Cook because he made a hundred in the first warm-up match and so presumably doesn’t need the practice. Being as Nick Compton made a duck, it is felt that England might now want to see how Joe Root fares in order to give themselves an alternative.
This is wrong. For one thing, looking at other options this early on undermines a new player (Compton) when he should be supported. Also, Alastair Cook may have made a hundred, but England’s probable first Test opening partnership has made just two runs together. Ever.
You don’t decide a bloke can’t bat after he’s made a duck. If he makes a few ducks, okay, there’s a certain weight of evidence, but a single innings of nought offers virtually no information on its own.
A three-ball duck is curt and bland. A truly flawed batsman aspires to more than this. He hangs around for a few overs, plays himself in and then continues playing and missing and choosing the wrong shots even once his feet are moving and he’s familiar with the bowlers. That’s how you catch the eye and mark yourself out as a real top drawer incompetent.
We’d go for Nick Compton. He was born in Durban, so it would help Malcolm Conn be hilarious. Conn’s definitely a man abiding by our ‘repeat until funny’ rule when making jokes about England cricketers born in South Africa.
He’s not got there yet.
Another reason to go for Compton is that he’s a top order batsman who’s scored loads of runs in the last couple of years. We’re kind of old-fashioned – we like it when batsmen do that. It seems relevant, even if the person in question isn’t in some sort of development programme and is also over the age of 23.
They’ll probably go for someone younger who’s flavour of the month. That’s usually the way these things work. ‘Blood some young talent,’ people cry, as if talent fades by the year. Nothing against young batsmen, but we increasingly like our top order batsmen to be old and lumpen. Compton’s perfectly happy to hang around without really doing anything whatsoever. This is admirable.
We knew he was worth watching this season. He’s currently 19 not out off 88 balls against Nottinghamshire, including a boundary which we damn well hope was an accident.
That’s the stuff. That’s why we picked him. Few players have the iron will required to be less entertaining than a rain delay.
Right, let’s get this over with.
First, let’s restate the qualification criteria:
- Qualified to play for England
- No established internationals
- Playing in the first division of the County Championship
Think that’s it. There might be other things. Who knows? Presumably us, but we don’t like to scrutinise the workings of our own mind in case we damage it. We reserve the right to apply further criteria later on if we feel like it. Continue reading
With his exotic upbringing, superior air and blonde looks, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Nick Compton wasn’t exactly our cup of tea.
And you’d be right. We can’t really remember why we’ve included him now. We remember that there were a number of tricky decisions made when selecting this year’s ones to watch. Several cricketers we’re rather fond of missed the cut. How did Compton survive?
Never let it be said that no thought goes into this website. Equally, never let it be said that repeated instances of poor memory don’t play a large part as well.
We’ll be watching Nick Compton this season. Hopefully at some point it will become apparent why.
More players to watch in 2008
That’s what the BBC say. What image does ‘Everest record’ conjure up? Are you imagining a group of people playing cricket on the Gorak Shep Glacier at 5,184m? No? Well, you should be, because that’s what they’re doing. (Actually, we reckon it’s the Khumbu Glacier – Gorak Shep appears to be just a town. Take THAT non-researching BBC journalists.)
It’s not quite a speed ascent of the world’s tallest mountain, but if you’ve ever attempted any sort of physical exercise (even walking) at any kind of altitude, you’ll know that this will be no mean feat.
There are 18 people going. Nick Compton, Graham Napier, Mark Wagh, Ryan Cummins and Steve Patterson are the professionals involved. They’ll be playing six-a-side matches of five overs each – or rather they’ll have played, because they were due to be playing on the 5th. It’ll be bloody cold and we don’t know what the pitch will be like. It’s probably safe to say that it won’t be a greentop.
The 18th person on the expedition will be a Sherpa guide who, according to the Professional Cricketers’ association, will be going to ‘make up the numbers’. He won’t be showing you all where you’re going and stopping people from dying then? If our experience is anything to go by, he’ll be doing this in flip-flops, with a wardrobe on his back, singing merrily.
The trip is being made to raise money for the PCA Benevolent Fund. The Benevolent Fund is part of the PCA’s commitment in helping current and former players and their dependants in times of hardship.